Statement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Intent to Nominate Representative Xochitl Torres Small to Serve as Under Secretary for Rural Development

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2021 – “Representative Xochitl Torres Small’s nomination to serve as Under Secretary for Rural Development reflects the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advancing rural prosperity. Her nomination is responsive to rural stakeholders and Congress; both have emphasized the importance of having a dedicated advocate for rural communities among the Department’s Subcabinet. As the daughter of migrant farm workers and a native of rural New Mexico, Torres Small represents the heart and soul of rural communities.

USDA Selects 2021 Class of E. Kika De La Garza Fellows

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the selection of 25 faculty and staff from Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) across the nation as 2021 E. Kika De La Garza Fellows. This summer fellowship program offers experiences in policymaking and research through direct interaction with every USDA agency.

USDA Announces Additional Aid to Ag Producers and Businesses in Pandemic Assistance for Producers Initiative

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2021 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today additional aid to agricultural producers and businesses as part of the USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. Earlier this year, Secretary Vilsack announced plans to use available pandemic assistance funds to address a number of gaps and disparities in previous rounds of aid. As part of the Pandemic Assistance initiative announced in March, USDA pledged to continue Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) payments and to provide aid to producers and businesses left behind.

USDA to Begin Work to Strengthen Enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2021 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin work on three proposed rules to support enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act, the 100-year old law that was originally designed to protect poultry and hog farmers and cattle ranchers from unfair, deceptive, and anti-competitive practices in the meat markets. USDA’s pending action was noted in the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions released today by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

USDA Expands Cooperative Interstate Shipment Program for Meat Processors to 9 States with Addition of South Dakota

WASHINGTON, June 10, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the State of South Dakota have finalized a Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) agreement, which provides an opportunity for selected state-inspected meat and poultry processors to ship their products across state lines. Under the CIS agreement, the State of South Dakota may inspect meat in selected establishments for shipment throughout the United States.