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New Farm Microloan Program from USDA

The US Department of Agriculture has established a microloan program targeted at helping small farm operators. Microloans of up to $35,000 will be available. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the program is “designed to help bolster family-run farms and help disadvantaged farmers and military veterans seeking to start a farm,” according to the Associated Press.

Amazing Opportunity for Livestock Enthusiasts Awaits

An established direct-market meat operation is seeking renters in Oregon’s Central Willamette Valley.

Rainshadow El Rancho is a 120-acre ranch raising and selling bison, pork, and poultry directly to consumers. The operation includes a USDA-approved poultry processing plant used to process the ranch’s birds and birds for other producers. 

Two large barns are included on the property. Livestock handling corrals include a squeeze chute. And an established small orchard and room for a large garden cap off the ranch.

Congress Approves Energy Tax Credits and Saves 37,000 Jobs

With the last-minute fiscal cliff deal, most of the country breathed a sigh of relief. But those concerned about rural communities and renewable energy had an additional reason to celebrate the deal: the extension of the Investment Tax Credit and Production Tax Credit.

Both are vital tools for an industry that has proven beneficial to rural communities, especially in the Upper Midwest and Great Plains. The wind industry has helped provide new employment opportunities, sources of revenue, and additional sources of income to farmers and ranchers.

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