For almost 50 years, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) "Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service" mission has been to protect the health & value of America's agricultural & natural resources. ALL Montanans & folks around the world reap the benefits from APHIS' programs & services. Their employees are committed to their work because healthy & profitable American agriculture means feeding & clothing the world! APHIS just released their 2019 Impact report..."Some" of the most important numbers in that report are TWO ZERO'S! (1) ZERO incursions of the most DANGEROUS foreign animal diseases of livestock, & (2) ZERO establishment of the most DANGEROUS foreign plant pests & diseases. In 2019 alone, APHIS protected 900 MILLION acres of U.S. farmland, made it possible for $137 BILLION in U.S. agricultural exports to move around Montana & the world, & helped keep 21.6 MILLION Americans employed in U.S. agriculture, food & related industries. I'm happy to report that 100% of the United States is now FREE of the plum pox virus, thanks to the work of Plant Protection & Quarantine, ending a 20 year battle with the most devastating viral disease of stone fruit worldwide. ALL Montanans & Americans have a more abundant & more affordable food supply, & many others overcame devastating hardships, because more than 1300 APHIS employees took time away from their families, homes & regular duties to fight 38 EMERGENCY incidents like pest & disease outbreaks, natural disasters & other threats to U.S. agriculture & health & safety. I submit that the USDA APHIS is one more reason why the theme for National Ag Day 2020, "Food Brings Everyone to the Table" makes all the sense in the world!

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