Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Testifies On Proposed Budget Before Senate Committee
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**Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the USDA is providing $67 million in competitive loans through the new Heirs’ Property Relending Program, which aims to help ag producers and landowners resolve heirs’ land ownership and succession issues.

Intermediary lenders, cooperatives, credit unions, and nonprofits, can apply for loans up to $5 million at 1% interest once the Farm Service Agency opens the two-month signup window later this month.

**U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, of Iowa, has his eyes on leveling the playing field for smaller livestock producers who have to compete against the “big companies” that wield so much control in the industry.

Speaking with AgriTalk, Grassley said we expect to make a case that four companies having 80% of the slaughter means the spot person can’t market when he wants.

Grassley supports legislative action and says he’s asked Ag Secretary Vilsack to “look into the situation” to see if he could support it.

**California Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation to enable farmers and ranchers to use the state’s insurer of last resort.

Senate Bill 11, sponsored by the California Farm Bureau, is intended to help farmers who lost insurance coverage due to wildfires.

Many have found obtaining new coverage is extremely costly or impossible, but can now be insured under the California FAIR plan, a pool for high-risk properties.

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