Vilsack Talks Farm Credit

In a recent trip to Texas, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack addressed the need for the USDA to expand access to farm credit for veterans and new farmers.

Farmers across the country, while still in the middle of a major economic boom, are facing a growing demographic crisis. With fewer and fewer new farmers entering the profession to replace retiring farmers, the average age of American farmers is gradually increasing (hitting 60 in some states).

While the US Department of Agriculture has embraced some solutions to this problem (getting behind loan programs for young farmers), Vilsack’s speech addressed the need for the agency, as well as state farm agencies, to increase access to credit to new farmers, as well as veterans, who are increasingly becoming a larger part of the agricultural workforce.

“In his recent State of the Union Address, President Obama laid out a vision for reigniting America’s engine of growth and good-paying jobs—the American middle class,” said Vilsack. “As a bright spot in our nation’s economy, agriculture must continue to attract the smartest, hardest-working people in the nation so we can continue to feed our nation and the world. By further expanding access to credit to those just starting to put down roots in farming, USDA continues to help grow a new generation of farmers, while ensuring the strength of an American agriculture sector that drives our economy, creates jobs, and provides the most secure and affordable food supply in the world.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer