By Lynne Terry
Oregon’s thousands of farmers and ranchers have an opportunity to garner millions of dollars in loans and free grants from the federal U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Last week the agency announced it would spend about $3 billion to transform the nation’s food system to benefit consumers, producers and rural communities by allowing midsize and small farms to expand their access to markets and give consumers a wider choice of nutritious, low-cost food.
Unlike some Midwest states focused on single crops, Oregon produces about 220 specialty crops, along with beef cattle and other livestock.
Many of Oregon’s 38,500 farms are small or midsize, making them a target for funding.
The new money stems from lessons learned during the pandemic and disruptions caused by Russia’s war against Ukraine, according to a USDA news release. A spokeswoman, Paige Blanchard, told the told the Oregon Capital Chronicle that some of the programs have allocations per state while others don’t. That means that those allocations will not be influenced by a state’s population or acreage available for farming. For farmers interested in applying, a USDA news release provides links to the various programs and how to apply.
For the complete story, see the Oregon Capital Chronicle website.