Notice to the Press
Washington, DC
February 2, 2010

Special Press Briefing: U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard C. Holbrooke to Speak About Their Recent Trips to Afghanistan

Secretary Vilsack and Ambassador Holbrooke will brief the press on American efforts to support the agriculture sector in Afghanistan and on their respective trips to the country on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 9:45 a.m. in the Carl T. Rowan Press Briefing Room (Room 2209) of the Department of State.

President Obama has identified restoring Afghanistan’s once vibrant agriculture sector as the U.S. Government’s top non-security priority in the country. Agriculture is the main source of income and livelihood for a majority of the population, especially in rural areas. Eighty percent of Afghans are involved in farming, herding or both, and a strengthened agricultural sector can be an engine for economic growth and improved stability.

The State Department, the Department of Agriculture, and several other agencies are working in close coordination under the U.S. Government Agriculture Assistance Strategy for Afghanistan – the framework for advancing this effort.

This event is open to the press.

Press should use the 23rd Street entrance to the State Department and must be processed through security by 9:30 a.m.

Media representatives may attend this event upon presentation of one of the following: (1) a U.S. Government-issued identification card (Department of State, White House, Congress, Department of Defense or Foreign Press Center), (2) a media-issued photo identification card, or (3) a letter from their employer on letterhead verifying their employment as a journalist, accompanied by an official photo identification card (driver's license, passport).

Office of Press Relations
U.S. Department of State
(202) 647-2492

PRN: 2010/129