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    On Thursday, March 14, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. EDT, USDA Rural Development will conduct a listening session webinar to listen to questions and comments from the partners, stakeholders, and customers who will be affected by the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill.

    A few highlights of the legislation:

    • Increases the population limit eligibility for USDA’s water, community facilities, and broadband programs to 50,000.
    • Creates the Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP) to combine and streamline two existing local and regional food system programs, the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program and Value-Added Producers Grant Program.
    • Allows for the refinancing of broadband and telephone loans, as well as certain rural hospitals.
    • Mandates that 20 percent of all USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine funding goes toward combating opioid misuse and other substance misuse issues.

    Registration is required to participate. Please visit: http://www.rd.usda.gov/about-rd/farm-bill

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