Agriculture Secretary announces $200 million fund for small farmers

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The U.S. Agriculture Secretary spoke with farmers in New Hampshire on Friday and announced millions of dollars in new funding to help local growers and smallholdings. US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visited Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis to announce a $200 million fund to help smaller specialty crop farmers meet government regulatory standards. “It’s a tough business, it’s an incredibly tough business, but we’re certainly blessed to have the farmers that we have in this country, because we’re one of the few countries in the world that’s food secure. “, said Vilsack. The fund will be important for New Hampshire, where there are many small local producers. “It’s about reducing costs for specialty crop farmers, who make up a large part of New Hampshire’s farming community, from maple syrup producers to farmers like Brookdale,” said U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire. In a panel discussion, farmers told the secretary about the issues they face, including the difficulty in securing a stable workforce through the immigration system. Vilsack said he was working on a pilot program to train and bring in agricultural workers from Central America. “What we can do is limited, but we will try to bring more workers into the country,” he said. The farmers also spoke with the secretary about the additional costs associated with inflation. are experiencing labor shortages,” said U.S. Representative Chris Pappas, D-New Hampshire. “It’s harder for these small farmers to make a living, so we’re hoping some of these USDA programs will be targeted to help them.” Farmers are used to living and working with a lot of uncertainty, but inflation has introduced a new level of volatility. “It’s hard to figure out where you start pricing things when things keep changing,” said Chuck Southern, of Apple Hill Farm in Concord.

The US Secretary of Agriculture spoke with New Hampshire farmers on Friday and announced millions of dollars in new funding to help local growers and smallholdings.

US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visited Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis to announce a $200 million fund to help small specialty crop farmers meet government regulatory standards.

“It’s a tough business, it’s an incredibly tough business, but we’re certainly blessed to have the farmers that we have in this country, because we’re one of the few countries in the world that’s food secure. “, said Vilsack.

Lawmakers said the fund would be important for New Hampshire, where there are many small, local producers.

“It’s about reducing costs for specialty crop farmers, who make up a large part of New Hampshire’s farming community, from maple syrup producers to farmers like Brookdale,” said U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire.

During a panel discussion, farmers told the secretary about the problems they face, including the difficulty of obtaining a stable workforce through the immigration system. Vilsack said he was working on a pilot program to train and bring in agricultural workers from Central America.

“What we can do is limited, but we will try to bring more workers into the country,” he said.

The farmers also spoke with the secretary about the additional costs associated with inflation.

“As you talk to these farmers today, they are experiencing labor shortages,” said U.S. Representative Chris Pappas, D-New Hampshire. “It’s harder for these small farmers to make a living, so we’re hoping some of these USDA programs will be targeted to help them.”

Farmers are used to living and working with a lot of uncertainty, but inflation has introduced a new level of volatility.

“It’s hard to figure out where you start pricing things when things keep changing,” said Chuck Southern, of Apple Hill Farm in Concord.

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