Biden’s proposed 2024 budget includes focus on climate smart agriculture and food security 

President Biden’s proposed 2024 budget includes nearly $210 billion for the USDA with a focus on climate smart agriculture, support for underserved communities, increased market access and food security.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the proposed budget contains critical investments that will help rural communities provide the fuel, food, and fiber that the nation depends on and will drive solutions that lead to more market opportunities for producers.

The budget includes a $1.9 billion increase to combat the climate crisis with continued investments for the agency’s hallmark conservation programs.  It would make the Cover Crop Incentive Program permanent, offering a $5 per acre rebate for farmers planting cover crops. It also highlights increased investments to support rural communities in the switch to clean energy and expand the reach of USDA climate hubs.

In an effort to increase food security, the budget fully funds the work of the Food Safety and Inspection Service and includes $6.3 billion to support the more than six million individuals expected to participate in the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) nutrition program. It would expand the Community Eligibility Program, providing free school meals to an additional 9 million children.

To increase market access, Biden’s budget invests $240 million in supporting new supply chains that uplift small and mid-sized farms. It includes $262 million for the Foreign Ag Service to reduce trade barriers for US ag exports and open new markets. It requests an additional $12 million for the Farm to School program that makes local food and ag education available to child nutrition programs.

With a focus on diversity and inclusion, the budget makes changes to Farm Service Agency loans to broaden producer eligibility. $2.4 billion is set aside for the Water and Wastewater program and another $400 million is earmarked for broadband expansion, both with a focus on rural communities. It requests $370 million for Minority Serving Institution programs to meet the needs of the next generation.

The budget also provides increased resources to recruit, hire and retain USDA employees with a $569 million request toward wildfire firefighter workforce reform.

Click here for USDA’s full summary of the FY2024 Budget.

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