USDA Funds Vet Farmers and DOL Improves H-2A
**The USDA is making up to $16 million in funding available to help socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers own and operate successful farms.
Agrimarketing.com reports, funding is made through the USDA's Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers AND Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program.
The 2014 Farm Bill expanded the program's reach to veterans.
The 2018 Farm Bill boosts mandatory funding for the program.
**American farmers still being hurt by Chinese tariffs are a step closer to federal assistance.
The White House Office of Management and Budget recently "finished its review" of the Market Facilitation Program, the direct payment aspect of $16 billion in new trade assistance.
Last Monday, President Trump praised farmers and said "We're going to give them $16 billion. It's been approved ... And I approved it."
USDA undersecretary Bill Northey tells agrimarketing.com, qualified farmers could start getting those payments next month.
**A Department of Labor's proposed rule "to modernize and improve" the H-2A temporary ag workers program has been announced.
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue tells agweb.com, "President Trump once again shows his commitment to helping America's farmers, ranchers, and producers continue to be the most productive in the world by increasing their access to a stable and legal workforce."
Approximately half of H-2A jobs in 2016 were certified in five states, California, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Washington.