Thursday, August 26, 2010

Undersecretary of Agriculture Visits Idaho

Tanner King and Undersecretary of Agriculture Darci Vetter, Ritter photo

Recovery Act Success Story

Caldwell--Three local ranchers told visiting U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary Darci Vetter how the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 helped them get a start in Idaho Agriculture.

The three young ranchers got loans through the Farm Service Agency and the Recovery Act, Vetter came here first hand to see how the program worked and get ideas for future implementation of stimulus money.

22-year old Tanner King from Marsing received two FSA loans that allowed him to start up a feeder cattle operation. King told Vetter that he tried to take out a conventional loan through his bank in Caldwell but was turned down because of his age.

“They brought good money and I made a profit, cattle did fairly good this year. It wouldn't have been possible without the FSA helping us. It’s hard for kids to get loans and get it going."

King said he'd heard about a new loan program for young farmers and ranchers through the Caldwell Farm Service Agency office in Caldwell. Through the program, he was able to get the money needed to expand his operation. Just a few weeks ago he paid off the loan and made a profit and now has money in the bank to start next year’s operation.

Secretary Vetter came to Caldwell to stress the Obama Administration's “duty to rural areas” she outlined all the projects funded by Recovery Act money. The Undersecretary says that future objectives include things like spending more money on broadband Internet access in rural areas, more funding for rural hospital, fire and police services, improving infrastructure like roads and bridges and adding more funds for farmer disaster relief.

Vetter told the packed FSA office about President Obama’s National Export Initiative and the need to include small- and medium-sized farming operations. But the Undersecretary of Agriculture stressed that she was here to listen and see how Recovery Act money was spent.

"None of this is possible with this funding," said Tanner. This is where agriculture is heading, everyone I know is getting older and its time to bring the young kids up and get going.”

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