It's hard to believe it has been nearly 90 days since lawmakers passed the 2014 Farm Bill. But USDA officials say the time has not been wasted.
Deputy Agriculture Secretary Krysta Harden says USDA has been burning the midnight oil in a race against time to get the new rules and programs of the legislation rolled out as quickly as possible. She says changing policies, rewriting program guidelines, updating computers and files, and implementing changes has kept the department occupied including long days and weekend shifts.
While a few of the new Farm Bill programs have rolled out in recent weeks, including an additional layer of disaster relief for agricultural producers suffering from drought-related crop or livestock losses, and a pair of programs designed to aid small to mid-size farmers.
But Harden says more programs will roll out in the weeks and months ahead as USDA sorts through the heavy volume of work created by the new legislation.
Farm Press also asked the Deputy Secretary about the Supreme Court's decision to let stand the Environmental Protection Agency's right to veto standing clean water rights permits and whether the issue is a positive or negative development for agriculture.