I'ACiK 7 December 17, 1976 Carter To Push Exporting WASHINGTON (UPI) The Carter administration may order a realignment of agencies inside the Agriculture Department to give more prominence to export promotion activities, a source close to the Carter transition team says. The source emphasized, however, that no decisions have been made. He said it was not yet clear whether any major changes would be made quickly in the way department agencies are controlled in groups through five assistant secretaries. At present, the department's farm export activities including overseas food aid financing and export promotion programs are handled largely In two agencies — the Foreign Agricultural Service and a General Sales Manager's office. Both units report to an assistant secretary for In- ternatlonal affairs and .commodity programs, who also oversees two other agencies — the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, and the Federal Crop Insurance Corp. The ASCS operates domestic farm programs including price supports, production controls, conservation subsidies and some disaster relief operations. "There's a question whether international affairs should be run separately or not... they may want to do something to make the international (agencies) more prominent," the Carter source said. Any such move would, presumably, be designed to underline the new administration's announced commitment to continuing expansion in export sales of American crops in order to allow continued high levels of production. The source added that there has ,been "pressure" to realign another part of the department — ah assistant secretary's office which controls both agricultural marketing programs and consumer services ranging from meal and poultry Inspection to food stamps and child nutrition programs. "We've seen some pressure to^plit the food programs off from the marketing programs," (he source said. 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Such changes would presumably be independent of any broader Carter plans to reorganize the government across departmental lines with possible shifts of functions between departments, Carter sources also reported the new administration's tnlent hunters have been seeking recommendations of women candidates for the post of assistant secretary of agriculture for marketing and consumer services, Under the Ford administration's structure, this post supervises four Agriculture agencies — the Agricultural Marketing, Service which operates commodity marketing order programs, including milk marketing orders, and some food grading programs; the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service which operates meat and poultry Inspection and standards systems; the Food and Nutrition Service which handles food stamp and child nutrition aid; and the small Packers and Stockyards Administration which polices fair trade practices in livestock marketing. Selection of a consumer- oriented person — man or woman — for the assistant secretary post in charge of tliis agency group could cause immediate and sharp political problems for the new administration because the Job involves many Important day- to-day decisions affecting milk marketing and the meat nncl poultry processing Industries. Ford Lights National Tree WASHINGTON (UPI) President Ford, in a message to thousands of onlookers at the lighting of the national Christmas tree Thursday, culled for a "rededicatlon to timeless values: peace on earth and good will toward men." With about 10,000 people gathered on the Ellipse across the street from the White House South Lawn, Ford pulled the switch illumating the 2,500 soft red lights on the 45-foot Colorado blue spruce. It marked the opening of the traditional Pageant of Peace. "We combine our year-long celebration of historical events with a personal rcdedicutlon to timeless values: peace on earth and good will toward men," Ford- said. "Brotherhood among all peoples must be the solid cornerstone of lasting peace. It has been a sustaining force for our nation, and it remains a guiding light for our future," said the President. The tree forms the centerpiece of the pageant, which has other, smaller decorated fir trees along .walkways leading to a stage for caroling and other holiday programs. Before the President attended the ceremony, a minor controversy Was put to rest by spokesman Ron Nessen. Nessen told reporters Ford was only joking when he said recently he accepted a "visiting professorship" at the University of Michigan. The Washington Post reported Ford, at a White House press party, had "set the record straight" about his future plans,,saying he has accepted a "visiting professorship" at the University of Michigan. "That was a humorous remark, meant as a joke," press secretary Ron Nessen told reporters. "I don't expect the President to make any decision until after January." Volunteers Put Snow On Slopes STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (UPI) — About 450 volunteers, most of them jobless because there isn't enough snow to open several Rocky Mountain ski areas, plan a weekend of moving snow to the slopes of Steamboat Springs in northwestern Colorado. John • Ahearn, director of marketing for XTV Recreational De'vleopment Inc., said the volunteers showed up Thursday with shovels, trash bags and sheet plastic to help move snow out of the woods and onto the slopes. Ahearn said the volunteers would spend the next three days handpicking the snow of debris and packing it by foot in an attempt to open at least some of the slopes by Monday.
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