Updates

White House Launches Drought Relief Working Group to Address Urgency of Western Water Crisis

WASHINGTON, April 21, 2021 – The Biden-Harris administration today announced the formation of an Interagency Working Group to address worsening drought conditions in the West and support farmers, Tribes, and communities impacted by ongoing water shortages. The Working Group will be co-chaired by the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture to build upon existing resources to help coordinate across the federal government, working in partnership with state, local, and Tribal governments to address the needs of communities suffering from drought-related impacts.

USDA Issues Pandemic Flexibilities for Schools and Day Care Facilities through June 2022 to Support Safe Reopening and Healthy, Nutritious Meals

WASHINGTON, April 20, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today issued a broad range of flexibilities to allow school meal programs and childcare institutions across the country to return to serving healthy meals in fall 2021 as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to reopen schools safely. Several meal service flexibilities that enable social distancing are now extended through June 30, 2022.

Statement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Nomination of Robert Bonnie to Serve as Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation

WASHINGTON, April 16, 2021 — “I am grateful to President Biden for announcing his intent to nominate Robert Bonnie to serve as Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation with the Department of Agriculture. Robert currently serves as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor for Climate at USDA. He led the USDA Transition Team for the President-Elect and Vice President-Elect. And he served in the Obama-Biden Administration as Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment as well as my Senior Advisor for the Environment and Climate.

USDA Recognizes 5 Million Acres Enrolled in Conservation Easements

WASHINGTON, April 2, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and private landowners have partnered to protect more than 5 million acres of wetlands, grasslands, and prime farmland — an area the size of New Jersey. Since October, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has enrolled 110,000 acres in new conservation easements, bringing USDA to this important conservation milestone.