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Two USDA leaders talk policy, programs

Around Farm Progress connects with FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux and newly confirmed Undersecretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small

A raging drought, and a pandemic can change the work you do anywhere. That's especially true with leaders at USDA working with farmers and stakeholders to chart a path forward. In this episode of the Around Farm Progress podcast, Policy Editor Jacqui Fatka connects with two leaders at the agency to learn more about the work at hand and the work ahead.

First up is Zach Ducheneaux, administrator, USDA's Farm Service Agency. He talks with Jacqui about a range of topics but opens with information about an expansion of the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm Raised Fish, or ELAP. That program will now cover the cost for transporting feed into drought-stricken areas. And you might find it interesting who Ducheneaux found most supportive of the move to help livestock producers.

Second is a talk with the recently confirmed Undersecretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small. She's been in the House of Representatives and knows about critical rural issues her agency will be addressing, and she shares her ideas in this conversation with Jacqui Fatka. It's an opportunity to find out what Torres Small sees as priorities for this agency moving forward.

Give it a listen.

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The podcast Around Farm Progress goes live online by 3 p.m. Central time each Friday and will engage editors from around the country as well as experts in our industry. You can listen to this week's episode above or subscribe using your favorite podcast service just search "Around Farm Progress" and subscribe so you don't miss an episode.

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About the Author(s)

Willie Vogt

Willie Vogt has been covering agricultural technology for more than 40 years, with most of that time as editorial director for Farm Progress. He is passionate about helping farmers better understand how technology can help them succeed, when appropriately applied.

Jacqui Fatka

Policy editor, Farm Futures

Jacqui Fatka grew up on a diversified livestock and grain farm in southwest Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications, with a minor in agriculture education, in 2003. She’s been writing for agricultural audiences ever since. In college, she interned with Wallaces Farmer and cultivated her love of ag policy during an internship with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, working in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Capitol Hill press office. In 2003, she started full time for Farm Progress companies’ state and regional publications as the e-content editor, and became Farm Futures’ policy editor in 2004. A few years later, she began covering grain and biofuels markets for the weekly newspaper Feedstuffs. As the current policy editor for Farm Progress, she covers the ongoing developments in ag policy, trade, regulations and court rulings. Fatka also serves as the interim executive secretary-treasurer for the North American Agricultural Journalists. She lives on a small acreage in central Ohio with her husband and three children.

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