USDA Looks To Forgive Rural Loans

The American Rescue Plan, according to USDA Head Tom Vilsack, has a variety of programs and plans to help rural America. Once of those plans includes loan forgiveness in rural areas. “Two types of loans we’re dealing with: direct loans and guaranteed loans,” Vilsack noted. “Let me deal with the direct loans first. To the […]

Biden: Rural Broadband A Big Part Of American Jobs Plan

Last week, President Biden unveiled his $2 trillion dollar American Jobs Plan. “I’ll begin with the heart of the plan. It modernizes transportation infrastructure; our roads, our bridges, our airports…” Speaking in Pittsburgh last week, Biden also addressed another issue that is important for rural America. “Millions of Americans lack access to reliable high-speed Internet. […]

USDA Seeks Public Input to Create a New Rural Renewable Energy Pilot Program

The Department of Agriculture is seeking your input to help create a new Rural Renewable Energy Pilot Program. USDA is seeking written comments and will host a public listening session on April 22, 2021. USDA’s Justin Maxson said, “we must put rural communities at the heart of climate action and climate-smart solutions, and that begins […]

U.S. Hemp Seed Production Increasing

Hemp cultivated for seed and grain comprised approximately 10% of 2020 total U.S. acreage. According to Hemp Benchmarks, that comes out to 14,000 acres nationwide. By comparison, Canadian cultivators grew more than five times that acreage, beyond 75,000 acres, the vast majority of which were exported to the United States. Exports to the U.S. have […]

Vilsack Highlights Trade Priorities

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is talking about his top trade priorities now that U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai has been confirmed. Vilsack noted recently the main focus will be on trade relations with Mexico and Canada, as well as strengthening existing trade agreements with China and Japan. “Implementation of USMCA. Expansion of the Japanese trade […]

NASS: More Winter Wheat Planted Than Expected

It looks farmers planted more acres of winter wheat than initially thought. Last week, the USDA reported 33.1 million acres of winter wheat. “That’s up 3.4% from the from the seeding number back in January. So now 8.8% above what was actually planted last year,” noted NASS’ Lance Hoenig. He added it’s the first increase […]

20 States Support NAMI Against Prop 12

A total of 20 states filed a brief with the Supreme Court supporting the North American Meat Institute’s petition challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 12. “The governments of nearly half the states agree that if California is allowed to apply its laws of conduct in other states, a single state will dictate policies in […]

AFIA Applauds Vilsack Enthusiasm for TPA

The American Feed Industry Association is thanking Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack for asking Congress to renew Trade Promotion Authority legislation. AFIA’s President and CEO Constance Cullman said the animal feed and pet food industries are encouraged by Secretary Vilsack’s recognition of the importance of renewing TPA and is hopeful that the Biden administration intends to […]

Lawmakers Introduce ACRE Act

A group of House lawmakers this week introduced the Agriculture Civil Rights and Equality Act, or ACRE Act. The legislation would prohibit officials at the Department of Agriculture from discriminating or providing preferential treatment to any person on the basis of race, color, national origin or sex. The prohibitions would apply to USDA hiring, contracting, […]

Vilsack: I trust Farmers

During a recent exchange between congressman Rick Allen and Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack focused on the past and future of black farmers. “American Rescue Plan includes 4 billion from USDA for loans to disadvantaged farmers,” Allen noted. “But in that definition of disadvantaged farmers, and again, what we’re hearing is a lot like if you […]