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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.

A Tip of the Hat to our 1890 LGUs Celebrating 127 Years of Cutting Edge Science, Education, Community Service

The author of the Act that created land-grant colleges, Congressman Justin Smith Morrill of Strafford, Vermont, had been disappointed that such educational institutions were out of reach for African-Americans. Almost 30 years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act of 1862, the Second Morrill Act, creating our nation’s historically black land-grant colleges, was successfully shepherded through Congress by then Senator Morrill and signed into law on Aug. 30, 1890.

Spring Weather Events Cause Devastation and Planting Delays

April showers bring May flowers. That is what many would like to have seen Mother Nature deliver this spring. Instead, late April brought an onslaught of unusual weather across the country.

Excessive rainfall caused record-breaking floods in the central U.S., a blizzard pelted the High Plains, devastating tornadoes tore through Texas and wildfires continued to blaze in the southeast.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Kelly Stange

Every month, USDA shares the story of a woman in agriculture who is leading the industry and helping other women succeed along the way. In honor of International Women’s Day, today we hear from Kelly Stange, an Agricultural Counselor for Germany, Austria, Hungary & Slovenia with USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service who started her career on a Missouri family dairy farm and working in University Extension.

To learn more and connect with other women leaders in agriculture across the country, we encourage you to visit https://newfarmers.usda.gov/women-in-ag. If there is a leading woman in agriculture you’d like to see on the blog, please send us your suggestions at AgWomenLead@usda.gov.

How 4-H Rocks for Missouri Youth of All Abilities

4-H is about more than barnyard animals, it’s about emerging sciences, like rocketry and geographic information systems.  4-H is also about leadership, citizenship, and many other things, but one quality truly stands out: 4-H is about inclusion.

In Missouri, 4-H clubs take an inclusive approach to working with youth who have special needs. “We don’t have set-aside or separate programs or activities for youth with special needs,” said Alison Copeland, campus 4-H specialist with University of Missouri Extension. “Rather, we provide our staff and volunteers with the tools and resources, such as sensitivity activities, to help staff increase their ability to work with youth of varying abilities in the same club or program.”