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(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack today held a rural community forum at Carter Hill Orchards in Concord to discuss agriculture in New Hampshire, particularly dairy farming, an industry facing many economic challenges.  Vilsack's trip to New Hampshire was part of a "Rural Tour" launched by the Obama Administration last week. 

"We need to do everything we can to keep locally produced milk and dairy products in New Hampshire, and that certainly starts with making sure our local farms stay in business," said Shaheen.  "I'm happy Secretary Vilsack visited New Hampshire today and expressed his commitment to our dairy farmers by creating lower-interest financing options and assembling a commission to review the federal milk pricing system."

"To rebuild and revitalize our country, President Obama and I want those affected by decisions made in Washington to participate in the process of developing innovative solutions and charting a path for rural America," said Vilsack. "It is critically important to hear the thoughts, concerns and stories about each community's vision for its future and to collect ideas about how USDA can better serve these communities."

Shaheen and Vilsack were joined by a number of federal, state, and local officials, including Governor Lynch, and Representatives Shea-Porter and Hodes.