U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack this week visited the Stanislaus County Agriculture Center for a community forum to discuss efforts by the Obama administration to rebuild and revitalize rural America.
Vilsack discussed how the USDA is working to promote a sustainable, safe, sufficient and nutritious food supply, ensure that America leads the global fight against climate change and revitalize rural communities by expanding economic opportunities.?
He also discussed how USDA's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act efforts are helping California farmers and ranchers and rural communities.
USDA's Rural Development has helped guarantee 1,543 loans worth over $241 million in the state of California through the Single Family Housing Loan program to help residents and producers to have access to the capital they need.
The Farm Service Agency is providing $5.68 million through 69 Direct Operating Farm Loans, which farmers can use to purchase items such as livestock, farm equipment, feed, seed, fuel, farm chemicals, insurance and other operating needs.
USDA's Forest Service is providing $122 million for 24 projects through the Forest Service Capital Improvement and Maintenance program to reduce sedimentation in streams, restore water quality and fish habitat and provide safe public transportation.