The United States Department of Agriculture is the federal executive department that takes responsibility in establishing and executing laws centering on agriculture, food, farming, and forestry. The Department of Agriculture was made independent and was established on May 1862. Since then, the department has focused on developing ways and means to improve agriculture in this country.
Today, there are almost 60 million Americans living in the rural areas. It is approximately 18.38 percent of the total population of the United States in 2017. The USDA is made up of different agencies and offices, 29 in total.
Focusing on the Community
The USDA has designed many loans and grants to provide assistance to many communities. These loans and grants are provided through its different branches. These programs provide economic opportunities to that rural communities continue to thrive.
Helping Communities Grow
The USDA Rural Development (RD) devise programs that cater to the different needs of American rural communities.
The Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program, for example, ensures access to funding that is used to develop necessary community facilities in rural areas. This financing can be used to improve, repair or build health care facilities, town halls, schools, museums, community gardens and many others. All of which are considered essential to the development of rural areas and the improvement of the lives of Americans living in it.
USDA RD also has assistance programs that provide opportunities for families and individuals to have and live in decent homes. There is a myriad of loan and grant programs centered in rural housing. The funding can be used to purchase properties, refinance current mortgages and cover the cost of home repairs and improvements.
There are also loans, loan guarantees and grants focused on providing financing opportunities to small businesses which will help build stronger rural communities. These small businesses are vital aspects so that access to services and products is assured.
There is Life in Farming
In its forming years, our country was mainly agrarian. This still remains true today, as the American soil provides a bounty harvest that puts food on our tables and the rest of the world.
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) provides current and would-be farmers and ranchers to start, build, expand, and strengthen their farms and ranches. Through the farm loan programs of the FSA, crop growers and livestock producers can gain access to credit. There are even loans available for rooftop producers and urban farmers.
Protecting and Conserving our Resources
One of USDA’s agencies provides financial assistance to help manage and conserve our nation’s resources. This ensures sustainability for the future generation and improves our quality of life.
The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) are some of the programs under the National Resources Conservation Service of the USDA. Such are designed to help agricultural producers address concerns by providing access to financial and technical aids.
The USDA and its agencies have multitudes of loan programs to assist individuals, families, and communities in Rural America. It’s mission, to make America a nation for all.