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 Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund
WASHINGTON, May 3, 2016 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the launch of a new private investment fund with the potential to inject $100 million into small food and agriculture businesses across rural America. The fund, known as the Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund, will be the fourth Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) that USDA has helped to create since 2014, and is part of USDA’s ongoing efforts to help attract private sector capital to investment opportunities in rural America to help drive more economic growth in rural communities.
 USDA Awards $16 Million for Research into Sustainable Crop and Livestock Production Methods
WASHINGTON, May 3, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today awarded $16.5 million in grants to support research into methods for boosting agriculture productivity and ensuring food security in the face of pests, diseases and a changing climate. In addition, USDA announced that it is seeking applications for the next round of projects, which will focus on pollinator health and plant and animal phenomics. The grants are made available through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
 USDA Announces $6 Million in Available Funding for Antimicrobial Resistance Research
WASHINGTON, May 2, 2016 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of $6 million to fund research to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This funding is available through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, and 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 $4.7 Million Available in Grants for Food Safety Training, Outreach and Technical Assistance
WASHINGTON, April 18, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of $4.7 million in grants for food safety education, training, and technical assistance projects that address the needs of owners and operators of small to mid-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially-disadvantaged farmers, small processors, small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers, food hubs, farmers’ markets, and others.
 USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Help Agricultural Producers Increase the Value of Their Products
WASHINGTON, April 8, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is making up to $44 million available to farmers, ranchers and businesses to develop new bio-based products and expand markets through the Value-Added Producer Grant program.
 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.
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