USDA, divisions note Biden-Harris accomplishments
Ahead of President Biden’s State of the Union speech to Congress, the Agriculture Department on Monday published a fact sheet titled “Biden-Harris Administration Delivers on its Promises to Invest in Communities, Nutrition Security, Climate-Smart Agriculture, More and Better Markets and Lower Costs for Families.”
“President Biden has passed a historic economic agenda to rebuild our infrastructure, supply chains, and manufacturing and reduce costs for families,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “As part of these historic achievements, USDA is working to build the economy from the bottom up and the middle out, and transform our food system so that it works for everyone and creates economic opportunity for all of our farmers, ranchers and foresters, not just the few.”
Many divisions of USDA also issued their own lists of accomplishments with comments by their leaders.
The Farm Service Agency said it had worked to assist distressed borrowers, improve land access for underserved producers and provide disaster assistance and relief for producers impacted by natural disasters as well as giving producers and landowners tools to help with climate-smart land management.
The Risk Management Agency highlighted reaching underserved producers and supporting climate-smart agriculture.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service said it “focused on ensuring greater access to our programs for underserved and urban producers, and on climate-smart agriculture and forestry strategies to help mitigate climate change and build on-farm resilience.”
The U.S. Forest Service said it “took bold and targeted actions to build up American infrastructure, accelerate restoration of forests and rangelands, and increase community resilience to climate change, drought and wildfire risks.”
The Foreign Agricultural Service said U.S. exports rose to a record $195 billion but farmers “also reaped the benefits of USDA and FAS efforts to expand climate change mitigation work, strengthen global food security activities, and establish new diversity programs.”
The Food and Nutrition Service said it provided additional resources to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants and Children, and school meal programs, as well as food banks, expanded online shopping for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants, equipped schools with upgraded tools, and boosted local agriculture.
The Animal and Plant Health Service said it responded to avian influenza and dealt with other animal and plant health problems.
The Agricultural Marketing Service said it built supply chain resiliency, combatted anticompetitive practices, increased transparency in agricultural markets, strengthened the organic industry and developed a hemp management platform.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service highlighted that it proposed a regulatory framework to reduce salmonella infections linked to poultry products.
Rural Development said it expanded equity in rural communities, implemented climate-smart solutions, invested nearly $2 billion to expand access to reliable, high-speed Internet and made loans and grants to transform the food system.
The Research, Education and Economics mission area noted that it played roles in President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot and convened listening sessions with leaders from Hispanic-serving, 1890, 1994, and 1862 institutions while the National Institute for Food and Agriculture announced the availability of $250 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding for minority-serving institutions to create career development opportunities, and the National Agricultural Statistics Service launched the 2022 Census of Agriculture.