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USDA Programs Empower Arkansas Farmer

From the time Brittany Caskey was a toddler, she lived her life in the dirt and on tractors, learning from an early age the kind of work it takes to make things grow.

In the small community of Hunter, in Woodruff County Arkansas, Caskey grew up with a dream of becoming a farmer. In 2017, the 26-year-old’s dream came to fruition with help from USDA.

Farm Loan Programs – Making a Difference for Thousands in Rural America across the Country

Capital is the lifeblood of any farming and ranching operation, and in the recently completed fiscal year the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Loan Programs pumped $5.9 billion in support to a diverse group of producers across America, which was the second highest total in Farm Service Agency (FSA) history. Over $2.5 billion of that total was direct and guaranteed operating loans, and another $3.5 billion was allocated for direct and guaranteed farm ownership loans. The $5.9 billion in new lending continued the recent growth in FSA’s farm loan portfolio. By the end of the fiscal year, FSA was providing credit, either directly or guaranteed through commercial lenders, to 120,000 family farmers across the country.

Quantifying Water Quality Benefits of Conservation Practices

Although we know that farm conservation practices, like cover crops, reduced tillage and nutrient management, as well as improve overall performance and environmental outcomes, it’s difficult to say exactly how these practices affect resources, such as water quality. We can say that the water coming off of a field with conservation practices might “look cleaner,” but what does this really mean in terms of nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediment? These challenges can make it difficult for producers to decide which practices to implement, because there’s no way to determine which are the most effective at improving their soil health or reducing their environmental impact. There’s an element of risk as well, because it’s difficult to predict how new conservation practices might affect yield.

Saving Money, Time and Soil: The Economics of No-Till Farming

For farmers across the country, it comes as no surprise to hear that conservation tillage practices – particularly continuous no-till – can save time and money compared to conventional tillage. The potential benefits of no-till are well-documented, from improving soil health to reducing annual fuel and labor investments.

USDA Offers Opportunities to America’s Veterans as they Seek Careers in Agriculture

Thousands of veterans leave the military every year, but there’s a new “service” they can provide. Over the next few decades, the world will need to increase its food production to keep up with a growing population. Career options available to American vets in the agriculture sector include owning/operating your own farm, or working in one of the many areas that supports the nation’s rural fabric.

Introducing the New USDA Climate Hubs Web Portal

Since 2014, the ten USDA Climate Hubs have been helping farmers, ranchers, forest landowners, resource managers, and rural communities plan for and manage weather- and climate-related risks and vulnerabilities. A key element of that effort has been the distribution of information resources via the Climate Hubs web portal. Our national and regional webpages are important components of our program’s outreach and communications efforts, and complement our on-the-ground work to provide practical, pragmatic, and science-based approaches to address climate change impacts on working lands.