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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.