Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack this week announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is undertaking an unprecedented effort to use the department's administrative flexibility to provide relief to individuals and businesses in struggling agriculture industries. Vilsack has ordered USDA's Rural Development and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to use all available means to help producers, processors and other small businesses who have been hit by worsening economic conditions.
<br><br>"Not only is this effort critical to restoring economic prosperity in America's rural communities, it is essential to ensure that Americans continue to have access to a safe, secure and healthy food supply," said Vilsack.
<br><br>The assistance includes FSA's increased effort to provide loan assistance to livestock producers and the Rural Development Business and Industry Loan program, which has been structured to provide relief to processors and other small businesses in agriculture industries.
<br><br>Producers are encouraged to contact their local FSA office for more information.