US Ag Deputy Sec. Harden to visit Tenn.

US Ag Deputy Sec. Harden to visit Tenn.

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NASHVILLE (AP) - U.S. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden is scheduled to visit two Tennessee universities this week to discuss the need for Congress to pass a comprehensive food, farm and jobs bill.

Harden is scheduled to speak at Tennessee State University in Nashville on Tuesday and the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture in Knoxville on Wednesday.

The Obama administration has called for Congress to pass a five-year farm bill that promotes rural development, preserves a strong farm safety net, maintains nutrition programs, encourages the development of local and regional markets, enhances conservation and advances agricultural research.

Harden will also highlight the recent expansion of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's StrikeForce Initiative into four additional states: Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee and West Virginia.

The initiative is designed to provide relief to high-poverty counties.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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