On Thursday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will host the first ever USDA virtual office hours on Twitter. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will sit down to answer the public’s questions on the department’s renewable energy programs, and how USDA is helping build a secure energy future for America. He will be joined by Sarah Bittleman, USDA senior advisor on energy policy.

USDA Virtual Office Hours, a live question and answer series that will be held monthly, allows stakeholders to directly engage with USDA leadership and subject matter experts through Twitter. Sessions will be focused on a specific mission, issue or program, as aligned with the department’s strategic goals and based on stakeholder interests.

In January, USDA launched www.USDA.gov/energy to serve as a resource for data and information about energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. This site allows individuals to learn more about USDA’s programs and see how their community can get involved in an expanding renewable energy and bio-based economy that is creating jobs and driving economic growth across rural America. To learn more about USDA's accomplishments in renewable energy, read the results document here.

Submit your energy related questions in advance to the @USDA Twitter account using the hashtag #AskUSDA. 

Date: Thursday, April 5, 2012, 1:30 p.m. EDT

Tune in online by following @USDA and using #askUSDA and #energy.