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Agriculture Innovates: USDA Then and Now, Part III

This week, our weekly photo series moves on to critical programs that support farmers, producers, and communities nationwide in times of need.

This blog is Part III of a four-part series highlighting some of the ways USDA has worked with federal and local partners to adapt to challenges facing rural communities across the nation. You can see Part I and Part II.

Don’t forget, you can share your innovation stories, too, using the hashtag #AgInnovates!

Energy

USDA is working internally, with partners, and across the Federal government to further renewable energy and efficiency through targeted projects supporting clean homegrown energy.

Through Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program, USDA helps to address a growing need for U.S. energy independence. By working with farmers, ranchers and land owners USDA helps finance a range of sophisticated and wide spread energy production and conservation projects including renewable energy systems, energy efficiency improvements, feasibility studies, energy audits and renewable energy development assistance.

Disaster Assistance

To help mitigate these changes, this month USDA launched 7 regional climate hubs — a modern response, which will work to deliver information to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to help them adapt to climate change and weather variability (Northeast Climate Hub pictured below). The Hubs will build capacity within USDA to provide information and guidance on technologies and risk management practices at regional and local scales.

The new Farm Bill also works to give livestock producers impacted by weather-related disasters some much-needed disaster assistance relief. And last Friday, (Feb. 14), Secretary Vilsack joined President Obama to announce new actions to help farmers, ranchers, and small businesses respond to one of California’s worst droughts in history; a nimble response to a growing issue, only made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill.

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