Proclamation 5668 -- United States Department of Agriculture 125th Anniversary Year, 1987

June 15, 1987

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

When President Abraham Lincoln signed the legislation establishing the United States Department of Agriculture on May 15, 1862, he created an institution whose impact has been felt in every corner of our land and on every continent. During the past century and a quarter, the Department of Agriculture has forged a partnership with farmers that has given the American people a high-quality, wholesome, safe, and affordable food supply unequaled anywhere.

Through its many research activities, the Department of Agriculture has helped farmers in our Nation and elsewhere achieve truly incredible gains in production yields and quality. The Department has also greatly aided the agriculture industry and all Americans by preventing the introduction of pests and diseases across our borders and by investing resources and technology to preserve our soil and water supplies. The Department has also helped give the American people the opportunity to receive nutritionally balanced meals.

When the first Commissioner of Agriculture, Isaac Newton, prepared his initial annual report to President Lincoln, he wrote: ``I hardly deem it necessary to attempt to convince our intelligent countrymen of the vast importance of such a department, inasmuch as whatever improves the condition and character of the farmer feeds the lifesprings of national character, wealth, and power.'' We can all be grateful that the United States Department of Agriculture continues its vital mission today.

In recognition of the outstanding contributions of the Department of Agriculture, the Congress, by Public Law 100 - 46, has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation commemorating the 125th anniversary of the Department.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby commemorate the 125th anniversary year of the United States Department of Agriculture. I urge all Americans to commemorate this anniversary with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eleventh.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 12:38 p.m., June 16, 1987]