This week at USDA - Over the past twenty years, a changing climate, population growth near forests and rangelands, and the buildup of brush and other fuels have dramatically increased the severity of wildfires and the damage that they cause to our natural lands and communities.
Last week, USDA marked the six-month anniversary of the signing of the 2014 Farm Bill. I am proud to say that we've made important progress on every title of the Farm Bill, including issuing disaster assistance payments, updating risk management tools, modifying farm loan programs, announcing new support for agricultural research, establishing new conservation programs, and much more.
This week at USDA - When USDA launched the Regional Conservation Partnership Program several months ago, we talked about our hope that this new way of doing business would build coalitions of unlikely partners and bring new money and resources for conservation projects to the table.
This week at USDA - These days, it seems like it's easier than ever to turn a good idea into reality. This is the era of Kickstarter, where entrepreneurs can connect with potential investors at the click of a button.
This week at USDA - This week, I visited the small town of Cameron Creek Colony in Tulare County, California and saw firsthand the challenges drought poses, particularly for those living in rural communities.
This week at USDA - What began as a small sail-making shop in 19th century New York City has evolved into the modern realization of one family's American Dream-a family-owned and operated small business whose product has been a part of some of the most iconic images in our nation's history.
This week at USDA - Agriculture is one of the brightest spots in our economy, and the American brand of agriculture is surging in popularity worldwide. Trade and market access support good-paying jobs and drives economic growth. A strong rural economy is critical to the overall economic health of the United States.
This week at USDA - Many consumers want to "buy local" and support their local economy with their purchases. When local food marketing opportunities exist for rural producers, they cause ripple effects throughout the rural economy.
This week at USDA - I visited Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, a small city outside of my hometown of Pittsburgh to kick off the first of five Made in Rural America forums designed to help rural small businesses access the information they need to grow through exports.