USDA needs to do a better job at supporting farm families, according to Vilsack

The Alpha Ag Summit is underway and a short time ago we heard from freshly-minted Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. He spoke virtually with farmers and ranchers from across the country.

Vilsack says that USDA has to do a better job at supporting farm families across the board. He said that a recent study found nearly 90 percent of farm families do not make the majority of their living from farming.

They need an additional income source to pay the bills.

“I think there’s work to be done to make sure we do a better job at providing assistance and help to farm families, so they can make a living,” Vilsack stated. “I can’t think of a-- unless you’re a YouTube person-- I can’t think of another occupation where you don’t make, at least, the majority of your living from whatever you do day-to-day.”

Vilsack also said that the USDA needs to have more of a presence on the export market and create new ways for farmers to benefit economically.

Another priority for him is healthcare and education opportunities for rural Americans. He says that USDA will spend more than $40 million dollars to help in that area through rural development and telemedicine.

Some five million rural residents are expected to benefit.


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