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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.

Farmers and Ranchers: The Foundation of our Nation’s Nutrition Assistance Programs

You may be familiar with Paul Harvey’s “So God Made a Farmer” speech that he delivered to the FFA Convention in November 1978. What he said then still rings true today. He describes the hard work and sacrifices as well as the gentle family spirit and sense of community that farmers and ranchers have provided from generation to generation across our great country. Farmers and ranchers are the backbone of America, working from sun-up to sundown, taking care of the land and livestock and providing food for their fellow citizens and the rest of the world.

Taking a Closer Look at Michigan’s Dry Beans

In the latest Census of Agriculture, Michigan farmers reported growing many types of fruits, vegetable, and livestock commodities. But when you think of Michigan, you might think of beans. Known throughout the world as a top producer of dry edible beans, the Great Lakes State works hard to grow and market beans that reflect the place from which they come and the passionate commitment of the people involved.

Corn is America’s Largest Crop in 2019

Despite an unusually wet spring followed by an unusually cool June, America’s corn farmers planted even more than they did last year. U.S. farmers have planted 91.7 million acres of corn in 2019, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). That’s about 69 million football fields of corn and 3 percent more corn than last year, far more acres than the next largest crop, soybeans.

Agriculture is No.1 in South Dakota

Every summer, families across the country turn their thoughts to vacation. Many will travel to South Dakota. Each year, approximately 3 million tourists from all over the world visit Mount Rushmore to experience the patriotic site. Millions more will enjoy the stunning views of Badlands National Park and abundant wildlife roaming through Custer State Park. But while South Dakota may be nicknamed The Mount Rushmore State, South Dakota always has been, and will continue to be, an agricultural state. Agriculture is the life-blood of South Dakota and the state’s No. 1 industry.