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Lillian Salerno leans on her East Dallas roots in her run for Congress

While walking across the White House’s West Lawn with President Obama, the gravity of the moment struck Lillian Salerno. Coming from a working-class East Dallas family with eight kids and running through Garrett Park, to working on policy with the president, Salerno knew she had come a long way. And apparently, she isn’t done. Salerno…

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GOP Rep. Pete Sessions Gets Another Democratic Challenger

Lillian Salerno announced Tuesday that she is jumping into the field of Democrats hoping to take on Texas GOP Rep. Pete Sessions, as Sessions emphasizes that he is definitely running for re-election. Democrats are targeting the district that includes northern Dallas, which Hillary Clinton narrowly won in November. In 2016, Sessions did not have a…

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DMN: Obama appointee Lillian Salerno joins race for congressional seat held by Pete Sessions

An appointee of former President Barack Obama is diving into the Democratic race to determine the nominee against incumbent Rep. Pete Sessions. Lillian Salerno, who served as President Barack Obama’s deputy undersecretary of rural development for the Department of Agriculture, will officially launch her candidacy for Congress on Tuesday at Randall Park in Dallas. “I…

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Want to rescue rural America? Bust monopolies.

Since President Trump’s election, much has been made of his rural, heartland voters, and how politicians can better serve them, with most discussion centering on international trade and globalization. But there is another political and economic disaster crushing the heartland — one politicians could solve now, if they chose to. For decades, rural America has been punished…

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USDA expands investment in Elgin ag producers

A couple of “good eggs” have hatched a plan to expand a national program to Elgin that could strengthen the connection between urban demand for local food and rural supply from farmers and ranchers. Local producers, governmental officials, and area supporters of the growing farm-to-table movement packed into the Austin Community College Elgin Campus Monday…

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Farms key to renewable energy development, feds say

Farms have always been hotbeds of invention, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture is hoping that a needed spark for renewable energy development will come from agriculture. “With all the great folks who live in rural America, we truly think we’re going to see some things that no one even thought of before,” said Lillian…

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Lessons from the Field: A New Series for Food Hub Development

Since 2009, USDA has invested in 29,100 local food opportunities, including food hubs, small scale processing and farmers markets across all 50 states and the US territories. These investments include over 12,000 loans and micro-loans to small-scale producers who often sell products locally and over 13,000 high tunnels (low-cost covered structures that extend the growing season and…

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Co-op Month: Much to Celebrate, But Much More to Do!

There is so much to celebrate during National Cooperative Month in October, as the U.S. co-op business sector is generating about $650 billion in annual sales and accounts for more than 2 million jobs. But the cooperative business model remains a “best-kept secret” for far too many people who could be benefitting from membership in co-ops. It…

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Resuscitated Biorefinery Breathes New Life into Rural Ohio Community

Erik Chaffer considers himself an optimist. Still, he found himself feeling pretty low as he watched the Great Recession knock the legs out from under the rural Ohio ethanol plant he helped manage. “Everything was pretty good until July 2008. It was just a ‘perfect storm’ type of situation,” said Chaffer. “The unknown is the…

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A USDA Business Loan Guarantee Helps a North Carolina Company Compete and Hire More Workers

During these difficult economic times we know that one of the best ways to help aid in the recovery process is to assist businesses that create jobs, and spur growth. In Troy, North Carolina, USDA Rural Development had the opportunity to highlight our successful efforts with a local company Aseptia/Wright Foods. Lillian Salerno, Acting Administrator for USDA’s Rural…

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