- Associated Press - Thursday, January 29, 2015

DURANT, Okla. (AP) - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is in Oklahoma to meet with leaders of the Choctaw Nation.

Vilsack plans to tour the Choctaw Nation’s Food Distribution Center in Durant on Thursday before speaking about the Agricultural Act of 2014 and Promise Zones Initiative that he says have helped to create economic growth in southern Oklahoma.

Last year, President Barack Obama designated the Choctaw Nation as the first tribal promise zone. Since then, the Choctaw Nation has been able to receive special consideration when applying for grants and participating in federal programs, including programs in the U.S. farm bill.

The Oklahoma tribe has been able to create opportunities to reduce poverty, feed community members in need through ag-related ventures and take advantage of programs that support the conservation of tribal resources and lands.

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