Recently, the Center for Rural Affairs outlined our appropriations priorities for the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program in a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.
"The Center for Rural Affairs pursues a mission to establish strong rural communities, and we are grateful for this opportunity to share with you our priorities for appropriations for fiscal year 2021," Policy Manager Anna Johnson writes in the letter. "Robust funding for the below programs will provide important support for farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.
In particular, Johnson writes, RMAP offers valuable support for rural entrepreneurs.
"RMAP provides third-party organizations with the funds to offer training and small business loans to rural entrepreneurs, and in doing so allow them to create jobs and expand their businesses in rural communities," she said. "We are grateful that you provided $6 million for RMAP in 2020, and ask that you maintain this funding in 2021."
The Center's appropriations priorities for 2021 are:
- Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program - $6 million in discretionary funds
- Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA) - at least $759.2 million
- Working Lands Conservation - No CHIMPS
- Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
- Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) - no CHIMPS
- Farming Opportunity Training and Outreach (FOTO) program - $5 million split equally between the two sub-programs of BFRDP and Section 2501
- Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP) - $20m discretionary, split appropriately between two sub-programs of FMLFPP and VAPG
- Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) Program - $37 million
- Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) - at least $50 million
- Farm Service Agency Loans - fully funded at President’s Budget levels
- Direct Farm Ownership - $2.12 billion
- Direct Operating Loans - $1.63 billion
- Guaranteed Farm Ownership - $2.75 billion
- Guaranteed Operating Loans - $2.12 billion