USDA Unveils New Strategy to Conserve Sage Grouse Habitat on Private Lands
PORTLAND, Ore., August 27, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a four-year strategy that will invest approximately $211 million through 2018 in conservation efforts to benefit the greater sage grouse. The strategy, known as Sage Grouse Initiative 2.0, will build on successful public and private conservation efforts made since 2010 to improve sage grouse habitat. The new plan will provide additional assistance for ranchers to make conservation improvements to their land, which mutually benefits the iconic bird and agricultural operations in 11 Western states.
Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Passing of Amelia Boynton Robinson
WASHINGTON, Aug. 27, 2015 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released the following statement on the passing of Amelia Boynton Robinson, a key civil rights leader and former employee of the Department of Agriculture, where she worked to ensure that rural African Americans across the South had access to resources and information about food production and processing, nutrition and healthcare:
Forest Service Report: Rising Firefighting Costs Raises Alarms
WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2015 — For the first time in its 110-year history, the Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is spending more than 50 percent of its budget to suppress the nation's wildfires. A new report released today by the Forest Service estimates that within a decade, the agency will spend more than two-thirds of its budget to battle ever-increasing fires, while mission-critical programs that can help prevent fires in the first place such as forest restoration and watershed and landscape management will continue to suffer. Meanwhile, the report notes, these catastrophic blazes are projected to burn twice as many acres by 2050.
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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