COVID-19 brought a wave of new economic challenges that producers are still working through. But for beginning farmers, the pandemic has added a new level of stress that's making it that much harder to get started in agriculture, echoing the psychological toll of the 1980s.
USDA’s Innovation Center is making it easier for rural America to qualify for funding from the Office of Rural Development’s $222 billion loan portfolio and $36.6 billion in fiscal 2018 appropriated funds. It’s all part of an administration push to create more rural jobs and boost economic growth.
Rural areas struggling with low commodity prices and a stalled farm bill are getting over $4 billion in new USDA grants and low-interest loans for new or upgraded water and sewer systems, electric power lines, and other essential infrastructure.
USDA has added a new interactive feature to its rural opioid misuse webpage, allowing visitors to use an interactive map to learn about, access or replicate actions rural leaders are taking in small towns across the country to address the opioid epidemic.