Vilsack will join Obama when he travels to Cuba

Vilsack will join Obama when he travels to Cuba

Vilsack will use the trip to discuss opportunities for collaboration in agriculture.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will join President Obama when he travels to Cuba later this month. This historic visit - the first by a sitting U.S. president in nearly 90 years - is another demonstration of the president's commitment to chart a new course for U.S.-Cuban relations and connect U.S. and Cuban citizens through expanded travel, commerce and access to information.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke at the Port of Long Beach about the benefits of increasing agricultural trade and jobs. (USDA photo)

This will be Vilsack's second trip to Cuba. In November 2015, Vilsack led a delegation of U.S. government officials traveling to Havana for a series of meetings in the interest of strengthening bilateral agricultural engagement. During his visit in November, the secretary met with Cuba's vice-president Ricardo Cabrisas, Minister of Agriculture Gustavo Rodríguez Rollero, and Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, as well as with Cuban farmers, producers and operators of agricultural cooperatives and markets.

Related story: Vilsack says permanent USDA presence needed in Cuba

Vilsack will use this second trip to Cuba to discuss opportunities for collaboration in agriculture among the United States and Cuba, better understand how climate change is affecting agricultural production in Cuba, and continue to help American businesses interested in exporting to Cuba form and strengthen ties to the Cuban people and culture.

"Throughout history, agriculture has served as a bridge to foster cooperation, and I have no doubt that agriculture will continue to play a powerful role as we expand our relationship with the Cuban people in the coming years," Vilsack said.

Related story: New U.S. rules needed if Cuba is to buy farm goods

Source: USDA

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