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USDA Announces Claims Process for Hispanic and Women Farmers

UPDATE 3/12/2014:

USDA is committed to ensuring the integrity and impartiality of the claims process. A neutral, third party has been tasked with overseeing all aspects of the process, including notifications, to make certain that it is fair and equitable.  As we move forward, we’re focused on making sure our programs are more inclusive and accessible than ever to all Americans.

Today is an historic day for USDA.  Working with colleagues at the Department of Justice, we launched a program that provides a path to justice for Hispanic and women farmers who believe they were discriminated against by USDA between 1981 and 2000.  Many of these farmers and ranchers have waited and fought to get relief, but until now their only means of getting their complaints heard was to file an individual case in federal court.  Today we are providing folks with a simpler path that enables them to file a claim for compensation that will be resolved by a neutral party without the involvement of the courts. Read more »

USDA Anuncia Proceso para Resolver Reclamaciones de Discriminación contra Agricultores Hispanos y Mujeres Agricultoras

Hoy es un día histórico para el Departamento de Agricultura. En colaboración con nuestros colegas en el Departamento de Justicia, hemos iniciado un programa que les ofrece un camino hacia la justicia a agricultores hispanos y mujeres agricultoras quienes consideran fueron objeto de discriminación por el Departamento de Agricultura entre 1981 y el 2000. Muchos de estos agricultores y ganaderos han esperado y luchado para recibir compensación, pero hasta ahora la única manera de que se escucharan sus quejas era presentar una demanda individual ante un tribunal federal. Hoy estamos dándoles a las personas una vía más simple que les permite presentar una reclamación para recibir compensación, que será resuelta por una parte neutral sin participación de las cortes. Read more »

Investigating Crop Insurance for Biofuel Sources

Energy crops have tremendous potential to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create jobs in rural America.  USDA’s Risk Management Agency is expanding its efforts to see if new insurance products can be developed for the producers of these renewable, clean energy crops that are grown right here in America.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 established that a mandate that this country’s use of renewable transportation fuels reach 36 billion gallons by 2022.  Of that, 20 billion gallons are targeted to come from second generation biofuel sources, including switchgrass, energy cane, woody biomass and other feedstocks. The Act encouraged biofuels research and development. Read more »

Rural Business and Cooperative Program Administrator Recognizes A Wisconsin Lender for Accomplishments in Business and Industry Program

Serigraph, Inc. officials give  Administrator Canales a tour of the operations at the West Bend Plant. The plant received a B&I loan guarantee through USDA and the Recovery Act.

Serigraph, Inc. officials give Administrator Canales a tour of the operations at the West Bend Plant. The plant received a B&I loan guarantee through USDA and the Recovery Act.

During these hard economic times we know that one of the best ways to help aid our Country in the recovery process is to assist and build businesses that create jobs, and spur growth. In Wisconsin, we had the opportunity to celebrate and highlight our successful efforts from the past year.

USDA Rural Development Rural Business and Cooperative Programs Administrator, Judith Canales, joined U.S. Senator Herbert Kohl and USDA Rural Development Wisconsin State Director, Stan Gruszynski, at a luncheon event honoring Ridgestone Bank in Brookfield, Wis. Ridgestone Bank was the number one Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program lender in the Nation in 2010. Read more »

Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Farmers

This week young people across the country are celebrating FFA Week.  During this time, members of Future Farmers of America (FFA) get a chance to educate the public about agriculture, but also to learn more about the industry themselves. In January, in his State of the Union address, President Obama focused on the importance of providing a world-class education to all American youth.  He called on us to out-educate our global competitors so that we keep great jobs here and strengthen the American economy in the long-term. Read more »

Secretary Vilsack says American Agriculture is a Safe Bet

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack speaks with Agricultural Outlook Board Forum Student Program Winners at the WAOB Forum held in Arlington, VA, on Thursday, February 24, 2011. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack speaks with Agricultural Outlook Board Forum Student Program Winners at the WAOB Forum held in Arlington, VA, on Thursday, February 24, 2011. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

“The safest bet in America is American agriculture!” That’s the way Secretary Tom Vilsack led off his remarks to the 2,000 farmers, ranchers, agriculture officials and industry leaders in attendance at today’s Agricultural Outlook Forum in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Read more »