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USDA Authorizes Emergency Grazing in Response to President Trump’s Directive

usda mastheadWASHINGTON, April 4, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), acting in response to a directive from President Donald J. Trump, today authorized emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands located in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas – the three states which were most heavily impacted by ongoing wildfires which began on March 6, 2017.  USDA Acting Deputy Secretary Michael L. Young issued a memorandum authorizing the emergency grazing of cattle by ranchers, who are facing the ruination of their herds due to lack of sufficient grazing land.  The authorization is pursuant to appropriate restrictions and conservation measures, which can be found in the Acting Deputy Secretary’s memorandum.

Read more: USDA Authorizes Emergency Grazing in Response to President Trump’s Directive

USDA Offers Renewal Options for Expiring Conservation Stewardship Program Contracts

USDA’s Largest Conservation Program Helps Producers Improve Health, Productivity of Working Lands

WASHINGTON, March 30, 2017 – Acting Deputy Agriculture Secretary Michael Young today announced that a contract renewal sign-up is underway for the Conservation Stewardship Program(CSP), USDA’s largest working lands conservation program with more than 80 million acres enrolled.  USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service(NRCS) made several updates to the popular program last fall.  These changes help producers better evaluate conservation options that benefit their operations while improving the health and productivity of private and Tribal working lands.

Read more: USDA Offers Renewal Options for Expiring Conservation Stewardship Program Contracts

USDA and DoD Battle to conserve

usda mastheadInterior, Agriculture & Defense Team Up To Conserve Landscapes and Wildlife, Bolster Rural Economies, and Ensure Military Readiness

WASHINGTON – The Departments of Interior, Agriculture and Defense joined with state and federal partners today to announce the designation of three new Sentinel Landscapes to benefit working lands, wildlife conservation and military readiness. Through the Sentinel Landscapes partnership, the DOI, USDA and DoD have committed to working together in overlapping priority areas near military installations to help farmers and ranchers make improvements to the land that benefit their operation, enhance wildlife habitat, and enable DoD's training missions to continue. This year’s Sentinel Landscapes were chosen for Avon Park Air Force Range in Florida, Camp Ripley in Minnesota and military bases in Eastern North Carolina.

Read more: USDA and DoD Battle to conserve

New Land Ownership Report Released

usda-landownership-mPercent of U.S. Farmland Expected to Transfer in Next Five Years, by Region, 2015 chart

Whether they farm the land themselves or rent it out to others to farm, those who own agricultural land are taking measures to keep the land in their families. This is good news for those who worry about the United States losing agricultural land to competing pressures.

At USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, we just released the findings from a survey of agricultural landowners conducted earlier this year. It confirmed some things we know already and generated lots of new information that farmers, policymakers, businesses and others will use to understand more about who owns farmland, who has and will have access to farmland in the future, what kinds of conservation and production decision landowners are making, and lots more.

Read more: New Land Ownership Report Released

Statement from Secretary Tom Vilsack on Ongoing Devastating Wildfire Season

usda-mastheadWASHINGTON, Aug. 20, 2015 - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack today made the following statement:

"This year, we are experiencing yet another devastating wildfire season, particularly in the drought-ravaged West. Climate change, drought, fuel buildup, insects and disease are increasing the severity of unprecedented wildfire in America's forests and rangelands, which impacts the safety of people, homes and communities. Development close to forests has also increased the threat to property, with more than 46 million homes in the United States, or about 40 percent of our nation's housing, potentially at risk from wildfire.

Read more: Statement from Secretary Tom Vilsack on Ongoing Devastating Wildfire Season

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