USDA - Latest News Releases

USDA - Latest News Releases

Statement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on House Agriculture Committee Report on SNAP

WASHINGTON, December 8, 2016—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released the following statement on the House Committee on Agriculture’s new report on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which contains the Committee’s findings from a series of hearings on the program:

USDA Boosts Healthy Food Access, Sets New Standards for SNAP Retailers

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2016 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced final changes to increase access to healthy food choices for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The provisions in this rule require SNAP authorized retail establishments to offer a larger inventory and variety of healthy food options.

Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Passage of the 21st Century Cures Act

WASHINGTON, December 7, 2016 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released the following statement on the 21st Century Cures Act, passed by the Senate today:

USDA Announces New Conservation Opportunities to Improve Water Quality and Restore Wildlife Habitat

DES MOINES, Iowa, Dec. 7, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will offer farmers and ranchers more opportunities to participate in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The announcement includes new CRP practices to protect water quality and adds an additional 1.1 million acres targeted to benefit wildlife, pollinators and wetlands.

USDA Invests $33 Million to Improve Water Quality in High-Priority Watersheds

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2016 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced an investment of more than $33 million in 197 high-priority watersheds across the country to help landowners improve water quality through the Natural Resource Conservation Service's (NRCS) National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI).

USDA Expands Farm Loans for Native Americans Farming and Ranching on Tribal Land

LAS VEGAS, Dec. 6, 2016 - Agriculture Under Secretary Michael T. Scuse today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved and obligated the first loan under the Highly Fractionated Indian Land Loan program (HFIL).

Secretary Vilsack Appoints Members to the Council for Native American Farming and Ranching

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2016 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the appointment of six new members and the re-appointment of five members to the Council for Native American Farming and Ranching. As a discretionary advisory committee, the Council provides recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture on changes to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations and other measures that would eliminate barriers to program participation for Native American farmers and ranchers.

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.