USDA Impressed with North Carolina

USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan was in North Carolina on Wednesday checking in on some projects USDA is involved in, one being grants to enhance tele-medicine capacity for rural communities:

“I’m announcing some grants in distance learning and tele-medicine. Okacroke health center is receiving a grant to enhance its tele-medicine capacity. “

Merrigan explains that some tele-medicine techniques were demonstrated to her:

“I learned so much from the doctors who are very excited about the tele-medicine. Its about how people in rural communities with health problems can stay in those communities with the local doctor they know but still get access to a specialist in a big city. They can share medical information and really help all those patients.”

Merrigan’s visit to North Carolina also included a trip to Wilson discussing rural job creation:

“There will be a round table to generate discussion around job creation. I also enjoy going out into the field with the local USDA staff. Its good to see how the programs are working and what we can do to improve them.”

Increasing access to medical treatment is just a small part of what USDA’s rural development is working on, according to Merrigan:

“We have had an out migration from rural America. Its not just about farming income, but quality of life. “

Merrigan says that she’s been impressed with the innovative ideas that have come out of North Carolina regarding rural revitalization and development:

“North Carolina is doing great things in local agriculture. It’s a lead state in all of this and I want to bring these ideas back to Washington.”


Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.


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