FAQ: USDA recently announced additional support for small and mid-sized farms. What is involved? I heard the funding provides a new certification program for the grass-fed beef industry, which continues to grow. What else is this funding being used for?
Answer: USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced additional support and resources for America's small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers. This announcement includes $7 million in university research awards in support of small and mid-sized producers; $8.8 million in technical assistance for small, socially-disadvantaged producers and Rural Cooperative Centers; and a marketing certification program for small and very small grass-fed beef producers. This is the second major USDA package this year in support of small and midsized producers.
The first package included efforts to increase access to capital, provide better risk management tools, expand marketing opportunities, and offer food safety training and educational resources specific to America's small and mid-size producers. Today's announcement builds on these efforts.
"Small and mid-sized producers are a vital part of America's agricultural future, and we are dedicated to ensuring their success," says Vilsack. "The programs and opportunities announced today are part of our ongoing commitment to ensure that smaller farmers and ranchers get access to the resources they need to thrive. USDA is continually reviewing our resources, programs and policies to make sure we are working for producers of all sizes."
More information about USDA tools and resources available to small and mid-sized farmers, including information about today's announcement, is available on USDA's Small and Mid-Sized Farmer Resources webpage.