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USDA to hold first-ever LGBT Interagency Pride Celebration June 10-11


usda-lgbt-300x193-8150435-1743526The public is invited to join the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Rural Development, Forest Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community members; and interested community partners for a variety of opportunities to share and learn more about USDA programs. This two-day celebration aims to identify ways USDA can improve existing services to LGBT individuals in Nevada and increase LGBT participation in USDA programs.  The public is invited to speak with USDA representatives and provide feedback as to how the Department can improve its customer service to the LGBT community.

Celebration Keynote Speaker, Ashlee Davis, Special Assistant to the USDA Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, will speak about the accomplishments and current position of USDA with regard to LGBT rights and protections, and the opportunity each USDA employee has to make a great and substantial impact on the effort of inclusion, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. She will also focus on how and why USDA will be central to addressing food insecurity and homelessness plaguing the transgender community.

Opportunities to speak with Ashlee Davis and USDA:

Tuesday, June 10 – Summit Reno Mall Farmer’s Market:  Ashlee will be on-hand to meet and greet visitors at the USDA booth from 9:30-11:30 a.m.  Address: 13925 South Virginia Street, Reno, NV 89511

Tuesday, June 10 – 4th St. Bistro Restaurant: USDA hosts Ashlee at a listening session from 4:30-6 p.m.  The $25 admission at the door includes wines and hors d’oeuvres. Please RSVP to Heather Emmons, USDA, by Sunday, June 8: 775-857-8500 ext. 105. Address: 3065 W. 4th Street, Reno, NV 89523 Phone: 775-323-3200

Wednesday, June 11 – USDA Pride Celebration:  All USDA agencies and members of the public are invited to participate in the statewide Pride Event from 10 a.m.-noon.  The public can attend at the host location at the NRCS Nevada State Office, or watch the presentation via video teleconference throughout the state at NRCS offices in: Elko, Ely, Fallon, Las Vegas, Lovelock, Minden, Winnemucca and Yerington.  NRCS Nevada State Office address: 1365 Corporate Blvd., Reno, NV 89502 Phone: 775-857-8500. For other NRCS office addresses and phone numbers, visit: www.nv.nrcs.usda.gov

In addition to Ashlee Davis, speakers include:

Wendy Baroli will speak about her journey from working with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to following her dream of owning her own farm, where she and her partner grow, produce, and raise a variety of livestock.  Wendy’s farm, called GirlFarm, consists of 95 acres tucked away at the top of a watershed bordering Northern California and Northern Nevada. The farm supports local families through their Personal Farmer Program. http://girlfarm.org/

Sharon Nance is the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s StrikeForce Outreach Coordinator for the West.  Sharon will speak about NRCS and LGBT history.

For more information about this event, contact NRCS at: (775) 857-8500.


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