USDA is on the hunt to boost farmers’ incomes

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says his department is constantly looking for ways to put more dollars in the hands of the nation’s producers.

He says they are exploring opportunities for small and mid-sized producers to figure out new approaches. One way is through value-added producer grants, which Vilsack says could allow farmers to process their product right on the farm versus selling it as a commodity.

“You’re processing it; you’re adding value to it right on the farm. You’re creating that opportunity for additional income so that farmers not only benefit from production, but also from processing. Another way that we’re approaching this is by expanding the processing capacity within a region or area so that farmers have more than one market opportunity in which to potentially sell their livestock. With more than one market opportunity, then hopefully the price will continue to be the one that will benefit the farmers because there will be competition for their product.”

USDA announced $10 million in spending for 25 projects aimed at supporting the nation’s meat supply chain. Vilsack says the money will be spent to provide farmers more opportunities and fairer prices, as well as providing loan guarantees through the Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program.

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