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Inside the National Organic Program: Organic Farmer Turned USDA National Organic Program Accreditation Manager Shares Why Organic

What does organic certification really mean for a farm? In Lars Crail’s experience as a central California organic pear farmer turned NOP Accreditation Division Audit Supervisor, going organic transformed his orchard and led to a new career helping others achieve organic success.

FAQs on American Rescue Plan Debt Relief for Socially Disadvantaged Borrowers

Earlier this week, we posted important information about the American Rescue Plan debt relief payments for socially disadvantaged producers. The American Rescue Plan includes provisions for USDA to pay up to 120% of loan balances, as of January 1, 2021, for Farm Service Agency (FSA) Direct and Guaranteed Farm Loans and Farm Storage Facility Loans (FSFL).

Black History Month - Celebrating Black American Achievements Past and Present

February is Black History Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the hard-fought achievements, sacrifices, and contributions made by Black Americans to every aspect of our country’s diverse cultural heritage, and particularly to the agricultural industry. It’s also a time for us to honor the Black farmers and ranchers of today, who are providing food, fiber, and fuel for the nation.

Myths Debunked: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2)

USDA is now accepting applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) for farmers and ranchers whose operations have been impacted by the current pandemic. Signup closes on December 11. Have you submitted your application? Let’s debunk some common myths that may be holding you back.

America’s Farmers: Resilient Throughout the COVID Pandemic

The disruptive impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. agricultural system have been broad and varied. And they follow several years of trying production and market conditions for U.S. farmers. In 2017 and 2018, several hurricanes pummeled U.S. farms; 2019 brought historically poor planting conditions and retaliatory tariffs cut potential for our agricultural exports compared to 2017.

RD Customer’s Cloud-Based Ecommerce Product Helps Farmers Reach New Markets During COVID-19

As the new Acting Administrator for USDA Rural Development’s Rural Housing Service, I know that one of the best parts of working in rural America is the relationships we build with our customers, relationships that often span many years. I was fortunate to see these relationships in action in my most recent role as State Director for Virginia. It’s rewarding to watch a customer’s efforts make an impact on the community they serve. And it’s especially gratifying to see a customer experience dramatic growth and begin serving communities beyond their geographical area. That is the case for the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture, Innovation and Rural Sustainability (VAFAIRS), specifically, their ecommerce program, Lulus Local Food.

Farming in the 21st Century Requires Being Connected

As you step onto Bebb Farms in rural Labette County, Kan., you see tractors, combines, sprayers, grain bins, and semis. All necessary equipment on a Kansas farm, but perhaps the most important equipment you don’t see is the Internet.

Agriculture Grows in the Land of the Midnight Sun

The 2017 Census of Agriculture showed farming in Alaska is thriving and growing across many different sectors. Alaska saw increases in the number of farms with cut flowers, hogs, layers, vegetables, bees and honey, bedding plants, food crops grown under cover and more.

Farms and Schools – A Critical Link for a Healthy Future

One of my fondest childhood memories was helping my grandma tend to the fresh fruits and vegetables in her garden. After a morning’s work outside in the sunshine, the fresh-picked corn was a feast for the taste buds and a sweet reward for our hard work. Working alongside my grandma taught me many important lessons – notably, that food on the table across the nation is a result of the dedication and effort of America’s farmers.

Georgia: A Peach of an Agricultural State

While growing up, we’re taught to mind our Ps and Qs. When it comes to Georgia agriculture, it’s all about the Ps – poultry, peanuts, pecans, peaches, and people. As the results of the 2017 Census of Agriculture show, Georgia continued to lead the nation in poultry, peanut, and pecan production and ranked third in peaches.