The Department of Agriculture building is pictured in Washington in July 2019. Alastair Pike/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration Monday requested a funding bump for the next fiscal year to cover the Agriculture Department’s work on climate change and farmland conservation.

The request also aims for funds to improve buildings and facilities that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said were shortchanged in a just-passed spending bill for the current year.

President Joe Biden’s budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 calls for $31.6 billion in discretionary spending at the USDA, an increase from the $22.3 billion in the fiscal 2024 package Congress just days ago. A big chunk of the money — nearly $12 billion — would be for a wide array of programs responding to the climate crisis, including clean energy in rural areas, the department said.

In the administration’s last budget request before voters decide whether to keep the Democrats in the White House, officials sought to expand USDA regional climate hubs, hire more workers at the Natural Resources Conservation Service and carry on with equity conservation agreements that encourage underserved populations of farmers to engage in land conservation practices that have upfront costs.




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