Vilsack says USDA wants new, more, better, and fairer markets
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says to turn farm income trends around, it’s necessary to be creative and innovative with new market opportunities. “New sources of income, new revenue streams for farmers so they are not just solely dependent on the sale of commodities.”
Vilsack told the National Farmers Union virtual convention Monday USDA data shows farmers and ranchers have had financial difficulties for a lot longer than they’ve been dealing with the COVID situation. “It was amazing to me that 89.6% of America’s farmers, ranchers, and producers do not make a majority of their money from their farming operations.”
Vilsack says the Biden USDA will focus on new, more, better, and fairer markets including methane from farms, converting ag waste into usable products, and carbon sequestration. “You’re not going to be able to sequester carbon unless you engage rural America on farms and ranches, and to do that, we need to create financial incentives and markets that are not designed and structured for an investment class, but are designed and constructed and implemented for farmers.”
Vilsack says USDA will be reaching out to farmers asking for input on how to best establish these new systems and maintain existing programs.