Secretary of Agriculture to visit St. Paul, appear with Gov. Walz in St. Charles Thursday to highlight clean energy

United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is visiting St. Paul Thursday morning before he will appear with Governor Tim Walz in St. Charles Thursday afternoon.

Officials say he is expected to speak at the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) office in St. Paul to highlight the “urgent need for Congress to fully fund WIC in 2024.”

Sec. Vilsack will also speak about how WIC helps nearly “6.7 million pregnant women, new mothers, babies, and young children” get needed nutrition at critical stages in life.

A news release from the agriculture secretary’s office said the United States Congress has not fully funded the program and that current funding levels will not cover all eligible participants along with others seeking to join the program for the year.

Sec. Vilsack will then be joined by Governor Tim Walz at Miller’s Market in St. Charles to discuss how the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing in clean energy in rural America through the Inflation Reduction Act.

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One of the programs set to be discussed is the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) which is a USDA program that aims to help farmers and small business owners make clean renewable energy investments and be more energy efficient. Other goals include generating new income, creating new jobs and strengthening the resiliency of agricultural operations.

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