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Statement by Secretary Vilsack on the President’s Fiscal Year 2025 Budget

Budget Enhances Economic Prosperity for Millions of Americans Living in Rural Areas

The Biden-Harris Administration today released the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2025. Following historic progress made since the President took office—with nearly 15 million jobs created and inflation down two-thirds—the Budget protects and builds on this progress by lowering costs for working families, protecting and strengthening Social Security and Medicare, investing in America and the American people, and reducing the deficit by cracking down on fraud, cutting wasteful spending, and making the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share.

“Looking ahead to 2025, it is critically important that USDA’s programs, staff and facilities are funded adequately to live up to its moniker ‘The People’s Department.’ The President’s budget proposal honors this commitment and enhances the opportunities available for millions of Americans, including in rural communities,” said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. “Whether it’s the pay raises our firefighters deserve for their brave service, making sure infants and kids have access to nutritious foods, or investing in rural prosperity through housing and business capital, the Biden-Harris Administration will continue to ensure people can find success in the places they call home.”

The Budget makes critical, targeted investments in the American people that will promote greater prosperity for decades to come. At USDA, the Budget will:

  • Support a strong nutrition safety net. Women, infants, and children have better maternal and health outcomes when healthy, nutritious food is on their table. This budget requests $7.7 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to ensure that the program can serve all eligible pregnant women, mothers, infants and children who apply.
  • Provide options for individuals and families in Rural America to find a place to call home. This budget requests nearly $1.7 billion to support President Biden’s action plan to help renters who are struggling with high rental costs, with a particular focus on building and preserving rental housing for low- and moderate-income families. This funding, along with related legislative proposals, will help nearly 300,000 eligible tenants nationwide afford to pay their rent through Rural Development’s rental assistance program, and go a long way toward preserving these properties as low income.
  • Modernize the wildland fire workforce. Effective wildland fire management requires a workforce that is fairly compensated. This budget requests $386 million for investments in Forest Service’s wildland fire workforce to ensure equitable and competitive compensation through permanent pay reform, increase workforce capacity, provide vital health and well-being assistance, and improve Government housing, These investments further the President’s commitment to ensure that wildland firefighters receive the wages, benefits, and other investments for health and wellness that are necessary to support and grow this critical workforce.
  • Equip farmers, ranchers, and foresters with the science, tools and information to succeed. Between 1948 and 2019, total agricultural output in the United States grew by 142 percent. The productivity stemmed from the adoption of a whole suite of innovations and technology – many of which are the fruits of publicly funded agricultural R&D. The Budget proposes a $3.8 billion investment in our research, education, and economics programs. This is done through the delivery of cutting-edge, scientific tools and innovative solutions for American farmers, producers, industry, and communities to support the nourishment and well-being of all people; sustain our nation’s agroecosystems and natural resources; and ensure the economic competitiveness and excellence of our agriculture.
  • Improve the economic health of rural communities by increasing access to business capital and lowering energy costs. Guaranteed Business capital promotes the creation and expansion of rural businesses, financing of business expansion, and jobs creation, which helps to diversify the rural economy. The President’s budget supports $2.3 billion in B&I loan guarantees, which bolsters the availability of private credit by guaranteeing loans made by lenders to rural businesses. This program improves the economic health of rural communities by increasing access to business capital through loan guarantees that enable commercial lenders to provide affordable financing for businesses in eligible rural areas. The President’s budget also invests in programs that reduce energy costs for rural communities, including $1 billion for renewable energy loan guarantees for farmers and rural small businesses and $53 million in zero-interest loans for the Rural Energy Savings Program.
  • Combat the climate crisis through conservation and protection of our lands. The President’s budget invests a total of $6 billion in more effective land management decisions on National Forest lands and in partnerships with landowners, local communities and Tribal Nations to address climate adaptation, conservation, and ecological resilience. This work will address the underlying conditions of drought that are impacting the productivity of our farms and forests throughout the country. Addressing climate adaptation, conservation, and ecological resilience now also has long-term benefits to the taxpayers, who shoulder the increasing Federal costs caused by climate change.

The Budget builds on the President’s record while achieving meaningful deficit reduction through measures that cut wasteful spending and ask the wealthy to pay their fair share.

For more information on the President’s FY 2025 Budget, please visit:


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