Abbey Powell, 301-851-4054
Suzanne Bond, 301-851-4070
WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2016 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is allocating $57,762,405 from Section 10007 of the 2014 Farm Bill to support 513 projects provided to partners in 53 states, territories, and the District of Columbia. These projects will aim to prevent the introduction or spread of plant pests and diseases that threaten U.S. agriculture and the environment, as well as ensure the availability of a healthy supply of clean plant stock. By working with states, federal agencies, universities, non-profits and tribal organizations, APHIS can extend its ability to protect, detect, and respond to plant pests and diseases with projects identified and tailored locally.
“USDA continues to fulfill our commitment through the Farm Bill to safeguard American agriculture and the natural environment against destructive invasive pests,” said Vilsack. “These projects will help strengthen both rural and urban communities by securing crop production on America’s farms, protecting forests and other natural plant resources, ensuring the health of plant cultivation within gardens and nurseries, and promoting the global competitiveness of our country’s specialty crop commodities."
Since the 2014 Farm Bill was enacted, APHIS has funded more than 1,700 projects that have played a significant role in protecting American agriculture. Collectively, these new projects will help USDA and its partners quickly detect and rapidly respond to invasive pests. They also help the U.S. maintain the infrastructure necessary for making sure that disease-free, certified planting materials are available to American specialty crop producers.
This year, funded projects include:
The Farm Bill provided $62.5 million for these programs in fiscal year (FY) 2017, though funding was reduced by sequestration. You can view the FY 2017 Section 10007 of the 2014 Farm Bill spending plan on the APHIS web site at www.aphis.usda.gov/farmbill.
The public can help protect America's agricultural and natural resources by being aware of invasive pests and the damage they cause. APHIS created the Hungry Pests public outreach program to empower Americans with the knowledge they need to leave these "hungry pests" behind. Visit http://www.HungryPests.com to learn more about invasive plant pest and diseases and their impact.
The Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past eight years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit http://www.aphis.usda.gov/farmbill