If farmers and ranchers are the heartbeat of the ag industry in the U.S., then the USDA is the brain. Ideas, inventions, and challenges are turned into nation-wide grant programs, groundbreaking technologies, and current policy. Stay up-to-date with the innovations and solutions coming out of the USDA below:

The USDA provides a broad spectrum of services to the people of the United States. Many industries benefit from the research, data collection, resources, and policies of the USDA. The 2017 Presidential Budget offers $700 million towards the USDA’s grant program— the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, or AFRI— which targets issues and concerns faced by the agriculture industry. According to the USDA, every dollar spent on ag research returns $20 to the U.S. economy. Read more here.

The Farm Income and Financial Forecast for 2015 and 2016 was released by the USDA’s Economic Research Service in early February, and the news is mostly good. While it is true that net farm income for all producers is forecasted to decrease by 3 percent, such a downturn is much better than the double-digit declines of the preceding two years. Additionally, the farm income forecast for median farm household incomes is predicted to rise by 4.5 percent to $81,666, a record level. Read more here.

Our nation’s veterans are real life heroes, and the USDA is always on the lookout for ways to both honor our country’s service men and women and to tap into their skill sets in the agriculture industry. The USDA has formed an agreement with Hiring Our Heroes, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation program that helps veterans, transitioning active service members, plus their spouses and partners, to get the training, skills and opportunities needed to find purposeful employment after leaving the military. This agreement will provide veterans and active military with the resources needed to enter the ag industry. Read more here.

Staying in-the-know is important for any industry. In the agriculture industry, being well-informed about your operation’s fiscal strengths is just as important as topics like the weather, seed quality, and sprayer settings. At AgAmerica Lending, we’re happy to be your land loan specialists. We help the nation’s ag producers grow and thrive with our low interest rates, long amortizations, and outstanding 10-year line of credit.

USDA photo by Lance Cheung