In November, former Rutland Treasurer Wendy Wilton became President Donald Trump’s new director of the U.S. Farm Service Agency in Vermont. As FSA state director, she now helps implement U.S. Department of Agriculture policies in planning, organizing and administering FSA programs in the Green Mountain State.
In this episode of Vote for Vermont, co-hosts Pat McDonald and Ben Kinsley interview Wilton to catch up on the state of Vermont’s agriculture economy and learn more about this little-known federal agency. During the discussion, Wilton talks about the complexities and challenges of farming, including land use, water quality, economic viability, the high cost of capital investments, environmental structures and more.
There are two different areas under the supervision of the FSA state director, according to Wilton: one is the agricultural loan program, which is responsible for direct loans to farmers and loan guarantees, and the second is where services and programs reside to assist farmers with conservation programs, disaster assistance, crop insurance and price supports. Currently, FSA has nearly $200 million in outstanding farm loans in Vermont.
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