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CSREES Participates in America Saves Week, February 22-March 1

Media Contact: Jennifer Martin, (202) 720-8188

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2009 - The USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) is poised to reach millions of citizens to encourage better personal savings habits during America Saves Week 2009, February 22 through March 1. CSREES is a major federal partner in America Saves Week, a coalition effort led by the Consumer Federation of America’s America Saves campaign and the American Savings Education Council.

“Our efforts to reach out to the public during American Saves Week come at an important time,” said Jane Schuchardt, CSREES national program leader for financial security. “People are feeling the financial pinch, and they want to be prepared by improving their savings behavior and better managing their finances.”

The Cooperative Extension Service will offer free workshops, seminars, special events, outreach at tax sites, mail and e-mail outreach and broad marketing efforts to promote the savings message. Topics include debt repayment, and savings for emergencies, homeownership, education and retirement.

Under the organization’s current plans, the following outcomes are expected:

  • More than 15,000 attendees at in-person events
  • A presence in at least 24 states.
  • Over 4.5 million people reached through the media
  • Over 100,000 people reached through Web sites, e-mail and other marketing
  • Nearly 7,000 people will open new savings accounts or take measurable action

The Cooperative Extension Service, of which CSREES is the federal partner, continues to offer, which allows savers to submit financial questions and receive answers from expert educators.

“We are delighted to welcome CSREES as a partner again this year,” said Nancy Register, director of the America Saves campaign. “The organization commits an enormous amount of resources to educating the public and improving savings behavior, which is especially important in tough economic times.”

America Saves Week, an annual event first organized in 2007, aims to promote personal savings, help citizens learn more about the issue and provide concrete opportunities to save. Through information, advice and encouragement, educators assist those who wish to pay down debt; build an emergency fund; and save for a home, education or retirement.

In 2007, cooperative extension services in 22 states reached nearly 80,000 potential savers through workshops, roll-your-change events, piggy bank competitions, payroll stuffers and electronic messages. In 2008, the organization participated in 23 states, had more than 77,000 people attend events and reached an additional 6 million through media and marketing.

America Saves is a nationwide campaign run by the Consumer Federation of America that encourages savings among low- to moderate-income households. More information about America Saves Week is available at

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, CSREES focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. For more information, visit