Proposed boost to Michigan Department of Ag budget

The Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture says Governor Rick Snyder’s proposed budget recommendations include a $5 million increase for agriculture. Jamie Clover Adams tells Brownfield the Governor has recommended almost $1.2 million to be earmarked for technical education and outreach on the Food Safety Modernization Act.  “We will be working with MSU Extension,… Read more »

USDA celebrates Nat’l Homeownership Month

Since the USDA’s single-family housing programs began in 1949, USDA has helped nearly 3.4 million rural residents to buy homes of their own. To highlight National Homeownership Month, Tony Hernandez, Rural Housing Service Administrator talked with Brownfield’s Dave Russell about the programs available through USDA Rural Development that can help rural residents with homeownership. Audio:… Read more »

New support for bio-based manufacturing

USDA Undersecretary Doug O’Brien says there is a lot of potential for bio-based manufacturing in rural America, especially now. At a Senate Ag subcommittee hearing on regional approaches to rural development, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown asked about it, especially in places like Ohio, Indiana and other areas of the Midwest where standard manufacturing jobs are… Read more »

Farm bill supports REGIONAL development

The new farm bill has a new focus on rural development – targeting REGIONAL areas for rural development incentives.  Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns is on a subcommittee panel that held a hearing Thursday in Washington, D.C.  He said, “By setting aside 10% of funds from rural community facilities, utilities and businesses and cooperative development categories… Read more »

USDA fund to seek private funds for rural business

The USDA has begun a new $150 Million investment fund to grow small businesses in rural areas and create more jobs using public AND private funding.   Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) – involves pledges from eight Farm Credit institutions and will be managed by Advantage Capital Partners, “The bottom line… Read more »

Value-add grants prioritized for veterans

U.S. military veterans are urged to apply for USDA value-added producer grants. Traci Bruckner, with the Center for Rural Affairs, says those folks have also been given top priority for the matching funds program, “There’s a priority for beginning farmers and ranchers as well as small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers but now the new Farm… Read more »

Farm Bill Rural Development policy

New policy and new dollars for USDA Rural Development programs are coming with the signing of the new Farm Bill earlier this month. Doug O’Brien, USDA Deputy Undersecretary for Rural Development, says there will be 68-Million dollars for the next five years for the Value-Added Producer program that was at risk of being unfunded.  He tells… Read more »

Rural America needs farm bill says O’Brien

Rural development and growth are the goals of the USDA’s Rural Development Agency – and the Acting Under Secretary of that agency says he’s thankful to be a part of it. “I grew up in a farm in eastern Iowa (Dubuque County) and I take with me, here in Washington, D.C., that value system, that… Read more »

USDA agencies watching FB proceedings

The lack of a Farm Bill is not only impacting farmers, it is also impacting the work being done by agencies throughout the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Doug O’Brien, Acting Under-Secretary for Rural Development says passing a Farm Bill is absolutely critical to the work they do in his agency. O’Brien tells Brownfield that without… Read more »

Rural Development working on backlog

The 500 employees at the USDA Rural Development loan processing office in St. Louis are tackling mounds of paperwork that piled up during the shutdown and furlough, so home loans and purchases that were delayed should be carried out in the coming weeks. All but 30 employees there were furloughed. Patrice Kunesh, USDA Deputy Undersecretary… Read more »