Second USDA Family Day a success

Photo: Farjana Islam and Secretary Perdue pose with Woodsy Owl.
Secretary Perdue stopped for a photo with resource assistant Farjana Islam, Conservation Education, and Woodsy Owl. The 2018 USDA Family Day was a success. USDA photo courtesy Preston Keres.


On Saturday, June 9, nearly 1,000 USDA employees and their families attended the second USDA Family Day with Secretary Sonny Perdue. The event was held once again at the USDA Agriculture Research Service George Washington Carver Center in Beltsville, Maryland.

The Forest Service was well-represented at the event with several agency tents. Conservation Education staff members, joined by Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl, hosted a hands-on activity booth for kids and families featuring educational information about wildfire safety, science and conservation. Acting Associate Chief Lenise Lago; Deputy Chief Carlos Rodriguez-Franco, Research and Development; Deputy Chief Leslie Weldon, National Forest System; Acting Deputy Chief Patti Hirami, State and Private Forestry; Acting Associate Deputy Chief Tina Terrell, Business Operations; and directors Chris French and Greg Smith, Ecosystem Management and Lands, served food including chicken, salads, samosas, desserts, iced tea and water. Secretary Perdue even stopped by the Forest Service tents to take photos and thank employees for attending.

Beyond learning about different agencies and socializing with each other, picnickers played cornhole, badminton and volleyball, and kids jumped in a moon bounce. A DJ also provided background music, including the picnic’s theme song, “We Are Family,” by Sister Sledge.

The picnic lived up to the USDA motto, “Do right and feed everyone.” Forest Service co-chairs Deidra McGee, National Forest System; Rick Cooksey, State and Private Forestry; and Tracy Hancock, Research and Development, made sure to thank the 25 Forest Service volunteers who helped make the event a success.

Selfie: Rick Cooksey, Tracy Hancock, and Deidra McGee.
Forest Service co-chairs Rick Cooksey, Tracy Hancock and Deidra McGee take a selfie at the 2018 USDA Family Day. Forest Service photo by Tracy Hancock.