USDA

USDA to spend $500 million extending high-speed internet to rural America

BY: - September 23, 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will send more than $500 million in loans and grants to telecommunications providers to bring high-speed internet to rural areas across 20 states, Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday. The department will spend $360 million in grants and $141 million in loans through its ReConnect Program to benefit sparsely populated communities, […]

Topsoil protection should be stressed in the next farm bill, U.S. House Ag panel told

BY: - September 16, 2022

WASHINGTON — Farmers and academics at a Wednesday hearing stressed the need for members of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee to support regenerative agriculture farming practices in the upcoming farm bill in order to protect topsoil. U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chair David Scott said he held the hearing to discuss ways policymakers and the Department […]

USDA more than triples funding for ‘climate smart’ agriculture

BY: - September 15, 2022

The Biden administration plans to distribute more than $3 billion to fund projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon in agriculture and forestry — a tripling of its initial commitment in February. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was set to publicly announce the expansion of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program on […]

Vilsack: America’s voluntary approach to agriculture is better than Europe’s mandates

BY: - August 31, 2022

BOONE, Iowa — The more than $1 billion the federal government is devoting to voluntary efforts to reduce agriculture’s adverse effects on the environment is a better long-term strategy than mandating new rules for farmers, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said Tuesday. While state and federal officials in the United States have tended to […]

Farm bill season arrives: What’s the outlook for 2023?

BY: - August 16, 2022

WASHINGTON — Over the course of the next year, lawmakers on the U.S. House and Senate Agriculture committees will draft a new federal farm bill that will shape food, farm, conservation and nutrition programs across the country for the next five years. The omnibus law that began 90 years ago as crop supports now has […]

Vilsack offers integrated plan for domestic food production

BY: - June 3, 2022

The Biden administration has set aside billions of dollars to help the nation’s food supply chain recover from the coronavirus pandemic — and, more recently, the looming global effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — and on Wednesday, it announced new funding and a comprehensive overview of how those initiatives mesh. “A transformed food system […]

USDA pledges $1B for ‘climate smart’ ag products

BY: - February 8, 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to spend up to $1 billion to foster the creation of climate-friendly agricultural and forestry products by offering grants to facilitate their production and the markets to sell them. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon in those industries. “Agriculture is such an exciting but […]

USDA to send out $1.4 billion to boost rural economies in the states

BY: - February 4, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday that the agency is investing $1.4 billion into rural economies through job training, business loans and the expansion of technical assistance. “It’s a good day for rural America,” Vilsack, a former governor of Iowa, said during a call with reporters. Eight programs will dole […]

White House says executive order coming on labeling beef as a ‘Product of USA’

BY: - July 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — The White House will unveil an executive order in the coming days that directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to clarify that meat can only receive a “Product of USA” label if that livestock is raised in the U.S. rather than abroad, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday afternoon. “The EO directs […]

Warnock works to remedy decades of USDA discrimination against Black farmers

BY: - May 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — The arrival of U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock in Congress earlier this year coincided with an overdue recognition of the historic discrimination inflicted on Black farmers by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The farmers’ plight has emerged as a major priority for Warnock, a Georgia Democrat whose victory in a January special election runoff handed his […]

Vilsack keys in on food insecurity and nutrition in USDA budget request

BY: - April 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday laid out USDA’s goals to expand food insecurity and nutrition programs in the president’s budget request, as well as the agency’s focus on programs to address longtime racial discrimination. “Normally I would talk to you all about numbers in the budget,” Vilsack, the former governor of Iowa, […]

House Agriculture panel probes ‘systemic’ USDA discrimination against Black farmers

BY: - March 29, 2021

WASHINGTON  — The House Agriculture Committee on Thursday heard about how Black farmers have faced decades of racial discrimination in their dealings with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The committee’s chairman, Rep. David Scott, (D-Ga.), said the testimony at the virtual hearing would help the panel craft legislation that aims to increase the number of […]