USDA - Latest News Releases

USDA - Latest News Releases

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Opens USDA Farmers Market for the 21st Season

Washington, May 6, 2016 — Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack opened the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers Market for its 21st season and announced a new partnership with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the General Services Administration (GSA) to promote gardens, farmers markets, and community supported agriculture programs (CSAs) at Federal workplaces.

USDA Awards $39.3 Million in Loans and Grants to Support Economic Development in Rural Areas

WASHINGTON, May 6, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced $39.3 million in loans and grants for 68 projects that will help small, rural businesses and communities in 26 states. The announcement comes as the Obama Administration celebrates the profound economic impact of American entrepreneurs during National Small Business Week.

Obama Administration to Help Five Small Communities Revitalize Downtowns through Broadband Service

WASHINGTON – May 5, 2016 – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the selection of communities in five states that will participate in the Cool & Connected planning assistance program, an innovative initiative to help people use broadband service for downtown revitalization and economic development.

USDA Announces Conservation Reserve Program Results

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the enrollment of more than 800,000 acres in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) through the program’s 49th sign up period. Through CRP, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) helps farmers offset the costs of restoring, enhancing and protecting certain grasses, shrubs and trees that improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and strengthen wildlife habitat. Farmers’ and ranchers’ participation in CRP continues to provide numerous benefits to our nation, including helping reduce emissions of harmful greenhouse gases and providing resiliency to future weather changes.

USDA Announces $15.6 Million in Grants to Strengthen Rural Communities

WASHINGTON, May 4, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced $15.6 million in grants to increase prosperity in rural America through research, education, and extension programs focused on promoting rural community development, economic growth, and sustainability. These grants were made through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Foundational program, administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

USDA Offers New Loans for Portable Farm Storage and Handling Equipment

COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 29, 2016 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide a new financing option to help farmers purchase portable storage and handling equipment.

USDA Announces New GroupGAP Program for the Produce Industry

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced the official launch of GroupGAP, a new certification program that helps small and mid-sized growers and cooperatives meet retailers' on-farm food safety requirements.

USDA Announces $18.1 Million to Help Rural Businesses Create Jobs

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced loans and grants for 92 projects worth $18.1 to help support the start-up or expansion of rural small businesses. These funds are part of more than 20,000 grants and loans to more than 85,000 rural businesses USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service has awarded since the start of the Obama administration.