USDA, (wikipedia) CC BY 2.0

 More than 2 million Americans are plagued with opioid addiction. When those afflicted make a decision to turn their lives around, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack wants to make sure that help is available. Nicole Erwin spoke with the Secretary on the lack of support in rural communities.

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

As the region reaches the peak summer season for crop acreage reporting, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is streamlining the process so farmers and ranchers can participate in crop insurance programs.

University of Kentucky

  In addition to a general warming trend, growers across the Commonwealth are witnessing a more variable climate for crop production. That’s according to Dave Van Sanford, a plant and soil science professor at the University of Kentucky. His department was recently awarded a $120 thousand dollar grant from the USDA to observe resistant wheat varieties in warming environments.


A northwestern Tennessee county is among 68 rural communities receiving USDA funding for economic development. The Weakley County Municipal Electric System will receive a loan of one-million dollars to renovate the Adult Learning Center. 

For the past several years, a scientist in Brookings, S.D., has been engaged in an escalating struggle with his employer, the USDA's Agricultural Research Service. The scientist, Jonathan Lundgren, says that he has been persecuted because his research points out problems — including harm to bees — with a popular class of pesticides called neonicotinoids.

U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development,

The City of Paris, Tennessee is offering empty lots to people who qualify for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development’s single family housing program.

The city will accept as little as $1 from qualified loan holders for the seven available lots.

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Kentucky officials have re-enacted a state-wide ban on bird sales and movement in response to an avian flu outbreak in southern Indiana.  State Veterinarian Robert Stout says he took the step out of an abundance of caution.  

United States Department of Agriculture

  Some farmers may receive less financial support from the government to mitigate crop loss due to changes to the federal farm bill. The US Department of Agriculture is cutting the direct payment program which provided support to farmers who submitted a base production plan. 

Author: Michaelb1983, via Wikimedia Commons

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has received a $291,564 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help strengthen the commonwealth’s specialty crops market.

Anthony / Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Kentucky will receive $9.4 million in federal funds to restore wetlands along the Mississippi River.  

It’s part of a $30 million U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to conservation groups in six Mississippi River-adjacent states to protect, restore and enhance over 19,000 acres of wetland.