USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

  • USDA Announces $210 Million to be Invested in Renewable Energy Infrastructure through the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership

    USDA Announces $210 Million to be Invested in Renewable Energy Infrastructure through the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership 21 States and Private Partners Match Federal Funds to Expand Infrastructure and Increase Fuel Options for Consumers KISSIMMEE, Fla., Oct. 28, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is partnering with 21 states through the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) to nearly double the number of fueling pumps nationwide that supply renewable fuels to American motorists. In May 2015, USDA announced the availability of $100 million in grants through the BIP, and that to apply states and private partners match the federal funding by a 1:1 ratio. USDA received applications requesting over $130 million, outpacing the $100 million that is available. With the matching commitments by state and private entities, the BIP is investing a total of $210 million to strengthen the rural economy. "This major investment in renewable energy infrastructure will give Americans more options that not only will suit their pocketbooks, but also will reduce our country's environmental impact and bolster our rural economy," said Vilsack. "The Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership is one more example of how federal funds can be leveraged by state and private partners to deliver better and farther reaching outcomes for taxpayers. The volume and diverse geographic locations of partners willing to support this infrastructure demonstrate the demand across the country for lower cost, cleaner, American-made fuels. Consumers will begin to see more of these pumps in a matter of months.” The 21 states participating in the BIP include Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The amount awarded to each state is available at: www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/energy-programs/bip/index. The final awards being announced today are estimated to expand infrastructure by nearly 5,000 pumps at over 1,400 fueling stations. A typical gas pump delivers fuel with 10 percent ethanol, which limits the amount of renewable energy that consumers can purchase. The new partnership will increase the number of pumps, storage and related infrastructure that offer higher blends of ethanol, such as E15, E85, and even intermediate combination blends. USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist just released a comprehensive report on ethanol. The report, titled U.S. Ethanol: An Examination of Policy, Production, Use, Distribution, and Market Interactions, brings clarity to the complex interaction of ethanol production with agricultural markets and government policies. The corn ethanol industry is the largest biofuel producer in the country, with production increasing from about 1.6 billion gallons in 2000 to just over 14 billion gallons in 2014, stimulating economic activity in rural communities. Visit www.usda.gov/oce/reports/energy/EthanolExamination102015.pdf to read the complete report. BIP is administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency. For more information, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/energy-programs/index. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

  • USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for November 2015

    Release No. 0178.15 USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for November 2015 WASHINGTON, Nov. 2, 2015 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) today announced interest rates for November 2015. The CCC borrowing rate-based charge for November is 0.250 percent, down from 0.375 percent in October. The interest rate for crop year commodity loans less than one year disbursed during November is 1.250 percent, down from 1.375 percent in October. Interest rates for Farm Storage Facility Loans approved for November are as follows, 1.750 percent with seven-year loan terms, down from 1.875 percent in October; 2.125 percent with 10-year loan terms, unchanged from 2.125 percent in October and; 2.250 percent with 12-year loan terms, down from 2.375 percent in October. The interest rate for 15-year Sugar Storage Facility Loans for November is 2.375 percent, down from 2.500 percent in October. Further program information is available from USDA Farm Service Agency's (FSA) Financial Management Division at 202-772-6041. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

  • FSA County Committee Elections to Begin; Producers to Receive Ballots Week of Nov. 9

    Release No. 0182.15 FSA County Committee Elections to Begin; Producers to Receive Ballots Week of Nov. 9 Farmers and Ranchers Have a Voice in Local Farm Program Decisions WASHINGTON, Nov. 5, 2015 – Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin mailing ballots to eligible farmers and ranchers across the country for the 2015 FSA County Committee elections on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. Producers must return ballots to their local FSA offices by Dec. 7, 2015, to ensure that their vote is counted. “County committee members represent the farmers and ranchers in their communities,” said Dolcini. “Producers elected to these committees have always played a vital role in local agricultural decisions. They are essential to the daily operation of nearly 2,200 offices across the country. It is a valued partnership that helps us better understand the needs of the farmers and ranchers we serve.” Nearly 7,700 FSA County Committee members serve FSA offices nationwide. Each committee has three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office. One-third of county committee seats are up for election each year. County committee members apply their knowledge and judgment to help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs; conservation programs; indemnity and disaster programs; emergency programs and eligibility. Producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program to be eligible to vote in the county committee election. Approximately 1.9 million producers are currently eligible to vote. Farmers and ranchers who supervise and conduct the farming operations of an entire farm, but are not of legal voting age, also may be eligible to vote. Farmers and ranchers will begin receiving their ballots the week of Nov. 9. Ballots include the names of candidates running for the local committee election. FSA has modified the ballot, making it more easily identifiable and less likely to be overlooked. Voters who do not receive ballots in the coming week can pick one up at their local FSA office. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Dec. 7, 2015. Newly elected committee members and their alternates will take office Jan. 1, 2016. For more information, visit the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. You may also contact your local USDA Service Center or FSA office. Visit http://offices.usda.gov to find an FSA office near you. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

  • USDA to Provide Agricultural Credit Training, Expand Opportunities for Farmer Veterans and Beginning Farmers

    USDA to Provide Agricultural Credit Training, Expand Opportunities for Farmer Veterans and Beginning Farmers WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2015 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced a partnership with the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) to conduct agricultural credit training sessions in the Midwest for military veterans and beginning farmers and ranchers. States under consideration to host the workshops include Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska. “USDA is excited to team up with the Farmer Veteran Coalition,” said Lanon Baccam, USDA Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service Deputy Under Secretary, and Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison. “These workshops will provide individuals interested in farming as a career, including military veterans, with methods to improve business planning and financial skills, and improve understanding of the risk management tools that can help small farm operations.” Other partners include Niman Ranch a community network of more than 700 independent family farmers and ranchers, and the Farm Credit Council and the Farm Credit System, which provides loans, leases and financial services to farmers, ranchers and rural businesses across the United States. The workshops will also include assistance with credit applications and introductions to local or regional food markets. To learn more about veterans in agriculture, visit www.usda.gov/veterans. Visit www.fsa.usda.gov/farmloans or your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office to learn more about FSA's farm loan programs. To find your local FSA office, visit http://offices.usda.gov. More information also is available from the Farmer Veteran Coalition at www.farmvetco.org. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

  • USDA Reminds Dairy Producers of Nov. 20 Deadline

    USDA Reminds Dairy Producers of Nov. 20 Deadline Enrollment Opportunities Ending for 2016 Margin Protection Program WASHINGTON, Nov, 9, 2015 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini today announced that almost half of all dairy farms in America have made their annual elections for 2016 coverage under the Margin Protection Program, and reminded producers who have not yet enrolled that they have until Nov. 20, to select coverage. Established by the 2014 Farm Bill, the program provides financial assistance to dairy producers when the margin – the difference between feed costs and the price of milk – falls below the coverage level selected by the applicant. “This safety net is not automatic, so producers must visit their local FSA office to enroll before Nov. 20,” said Dolcini. “Despite the best forecasts, the dairy industry is cyclical and markets can change quickly. This program is like any insurance product, where investing in a policy today will protect against catastrophic economic consequences tomorrow.” FSA estimates that based on current participation rates, had the program existed before the 2014 Farm Bill, producers in 2009 would have invested $73 million in premiums and received $1.44 billion in financial protection during that historically weak market period. Enrolled dairy operations must pay a $100 administrative fee annually to receive basic catastrophic coverage. Greater levels of margin protection are available for a higher premium, and provide expanded coverage based on historic dairy production. Once enrolled, producers can change their levels of coverage each year. Dairy producers are encouraged to review protection options online at www.fsa.usda.gov/dairy or by visiting their local FSA county office. The nearest FSA county office can be found at http://offices.usda.gov. The Margin Protection Program for dairy was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

RSS USDA Home

  • Trees and Shrubs Protect Crops and Generate Income for Farmers 06/30/2020
    Across the United States, farmers are taking innovative approaches to foster environmental stewardship and economic viability through a common conservation practice called the riparian forest buffer. Supporting production while enhancing conservation is an important goal of both US Department of Agriculture Secretary Perdue’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda (PDF, 196 KB) and of the USDA Forest Service. […]
    USDA Latest News Releases
  • Homeownership Provides Hope During a Pandemic 06/29/2020
    As most staff continue to telework, it is important to acknowledge that dependable program delivery is still the norm, and with the same exceptional customer service that Rural Development staff have become known for. Despite COVID-related challenges, the often life-changing programs the agency provides are making an impact on our rural people, businesses, and communities […]
    USDA Latest News Releases
  • Pollinators at a Crossroads 06/24/2020
    Bees and other pollinators, including birds, bats, butterflies, moths, flies, wasps, beetles, and small mammals, play a critical role in our food production system. A healthy pollinator population is vital to producing marketable commodities. More than 100 U.S. grown crops rely on pollinators. The added revenue to crop production from pollinators is valued at $18 […]
    USDA Latest News Releases
  • Wisconsin Telecommunications Cooperatives Step Up to Support E-Learning 06/23/2020
    Wisconsin students across the state adapted to the new normal with e-Learning studies since the Badger State entered the “Safer at Home” status in late March. If you live in a metro area, you probably didn’t struggle with lack of service or low bandwidth. But in the rural areas, it was a big challenge.
    USDA Latest News Releases
  • Protecting Pollinators from A New Threat – First-Ever U.S. Sightings of Asian Giant Hornet 06/19/2020
    It’s not the first time that European honey bees and other pollinators in the United States have encountered invasive pests, with the parasitic Varroa mite being the most noteworthy. For years, researchers and beekeepers have wondered what the next invasive pest of concern would be. Perhaps Tropilaelaps mites, a parasitic mite that feeds on bee […]
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  • USDA and Arizona Sign Shared Stewardship Memorandum of Understanding to Reduce Wildfire Risk and Increase Forest Health 07/07/2020
    Phoenix, July 7, 2020 – Today, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey agreed to a collaborative new framework to increase coordination and cooperation for work addressing forest health risks and wildfire across the state. Arizona's Shared Stewardship Memorandum of Understanding would help accelerate the pace and scale of projects like […]
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  • Secretary Perdue: President Trump delivers USMCA, a huge win for U.S. agriculture 07/01/2020
    (Washington, D.C., July 1, 2020) – Today, The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) enters into force, replacing the decades-old NAFTA. USMCA is a better deal for America’s farmers, consumers and workers that will set them up for success for decades to come. U.S.
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  • USDA Continues to Deliver Innovative Solutions to its Customers 06/29/2020
    Washington, D.C., June 29, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released its annual Technology Transfer Report (PDF, 4.1 MB), which highlights agricultural innovations from scientists and researchers that are solving problems for America’s farmers, ranchers, foresters, and consumers; and creating opportunities for American businesses to thrive.
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  • USDA Approves Program to Feed Kids in Oklahoma and Montana 06/26/2020
    (Washington, D.C., June 26, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced Oklahoma and Montana have been approved to operate Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), a new program authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), signed by President Trump, which provides assistance to families of children eligible for free or reduced-price […]
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  • USDA Highlights Accomplishments in Rural High-Speed Broadband Deployment Under American Broadband Initiative 06/25/2020
    WASHINGTON, June 25, 2020 - Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture joined its government partners to release a Progress Report (PDF, 337 KB) detailing the accomplishments of the American Broadband Initiative (ABI) one year after the release of the initial ABI Milestones Report.
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RSS Blogs

  • Trees and Shrubs Protect Crops and Generate Income for Farmers 06/30/2020
    Across the United States, farmers are taking innovative approaches to foster environmental stewardship and economic viability through a common conservation practice called the riparian forest buffer. Supporting production while enhancing conservation is an important goal of both US Department of Agriculture Secretary Perdue’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda (PDF, 196 KB) and of the USDA Forest Service. […]
    USDA Latest Blogs
  • Homeownership Provides Hope During a Pandemic 06/29/2020
    As most staff continue to telework, it is important to acknowledge that dependable program delivery is still the norm, and with the same exceptional customer service that Rural Development staff have become known for. Despite COVID-related challenges, the often life-changing programs the agency provides are making an impact on our rural people, businesses, and communities […]
    USDA Latest Blogs
  • Pollinators at a Crossroads 06/24/2020
    Bees and other pollinators, including birds, bats, butterflies, moths, flies, wasps, beetles, and small mammals, play a critical role in our food production system. A healthy pollinator population is vital to producing marketable commodities. More than 100 U.S. grown crops rely on pollinators. The added revenue to crop production from pollinators is valued at $18 […]
    USDA Latest Blogs
  • Wisconsin Telecommunications Cooperatives Step Up to Support E-Learning 06/23/2020
    Wisconsin students across the state adapted to the new normal with e-Learning studies since the Badger State entered the “Safer at Home” status in late March. If you live in a metro area, you probably didn’t struggle with lack of service or low bandwidth. But in the rural areas, it was a big challenge.
    USDA Latest Blogs
  • Protecting Pollinators from A New Threat – First-Ever U.S. Sightings of Asian Giant Hornet 06/19/2020
    It’s not the first time that European honey bees and other pollinators in the United States have encountered invasive pests, with the parasitic Varroa mite being the most noteworthy. For years, researchers and beekeepers have wondered what the next invasive pest of concern would be. Perhaps Tropilaelaps mites, a parasitic mite that feeds on bee […]
    USDA Latest Blogs