U.S. Ag Secretary visits mid-Michigan

CHARLOTTE, MI – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says rural communities would see an increase in population and considerable economic gain under President Obama's economic recovery plan.

Vilsack was in mid-Michigan Monday promoting the Economic Reinvestment and Recovery Act's impact on farm communities. He spoke at a popular apple orchard and cider mill near Potterville.

He says a combination of federal programs is helping make local farmers more competitive internationally.

"And I think that when you add that to the farm bill, and you add to the investments we're gonna be making to broadband that will allow farmers to make marketing decisions based on real-time information and allow someone like the folks here to basically expand their market beyond a 50 or 100 mile radius....to the globe," he says.

Vilsack says his department's ultimate goal is ensure that the nation's food supply is safe, sustainable and nutritious. Vilsack's appearance in Michigan is part of a national tour of rural areas.