APHIS wins group honor awards from Agriculture

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Employees of the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service earned 2001 Secretary's Honor Awards, among them, for protecting the United States from foot-and mouth disease and assisting with World Trade Center recovery efforts.

Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman presented the honors at the 56th award ceremony, July 9 at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

"The Honor Awards are not only a way to celebrate the breadth and diversity of our department, but they are a good opportunity to showcase the important work we do in improving people's lives.

"We are extremely proud of all USDA employees, particularly those being honored here today, for their teamwork and dedication to public service."

APHIS earned a Group Honor for Heroism and Emergency Response for its to prevent the introduction of FMD into the United States, particularly after the outbreak in the United Kingdom and parts of the European Union.

The agency's wildlife services program won a Group Honor Award for Heroism and Emergency Response for its efforts to disperse birds that were interfering with the identification of human remains and evidence documentation at the Staten Island, N.Y., landfill, where World Trade Center debris were transported for sorting.

Many APHIS employees, as well as representatives from other government agencies who served on the APHIS teams, were included in the recognition and are listed at http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome.