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Biden’s Proposed 2024 Budget Prioritizes Climate Smart Agriculture & Food Security

President Biden's proposed 2024 budget for the USDA includes nearly $210 billion for climate smart agriculture, underserved communities, increased market access, and food security.

Shivam Dwivedi
'Farm to School' provides local food and agricultural education to child nutrition programmes
'Farm to School' provides local food and agricultural education to child nutrition programmes

According to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the proposed budget includes critical investments that will help rural communities provide the fuel, food, and fibre that the country relies on, as well as solutions that will lead to more market opportunities for producers.

The budget includes a $1.9 billion increase to combat climate change, as well as continued funding for the agency's signature conservation programmes. It would extend the Cover Crop Incentive Program, which provides a $5 per acre rebate to farmers who plant cover crops.

It also emphasises increased investments to assist rural communities in making the transition to clean energy and expanding the reach of USDA climate hubs. In order to improve food security, the budget fully funds the Food Safety and Inspection Service's work and includes $6.3 billion to support the more than six million people expected to participate in the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) nutrition programme. It would expand the Community Eligibility Program, allowing an additional 9 million children to receive free school meals.

Biden's budget allocates $240 million to support new supply chains that benefit small and mid-sized farms in order to increase market access. It includes $262 million for the Foreign Ag Service to lower trade barriers and open new markets for US agricultural exports. It seeks an additional $12 million for the Farm to School programme, which provides local food and agricultural education to child nutrition programmes.

The budget amends Farm Service Agency loans to broaden producer eligibility, with a focus on diversity and inclusion. The Water and Wastewater programme will receive $2.4 billion, and broadband expansion will receive $400 million, both with a focus on rural communities.

It asks for $370 million in funding for Minority Serving Institution programmes in order to meet the needs of the next generation. With a $569 million request for wildfire firefighter workforce reform, the budget also increases resources to recruit, hire, and retain USDA employees.

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