ENGLAND -- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited Arkansas on Friday to meet with farmers

to discuss new U.S. Departmentof Agriculture programs designed to increase sustainability.

Funding for these programs is part of the Biden administration's Climate Smart Agriculture Initiative designed 

 to support pilot programs  that will help farmers transition to sustainable farming practices, 

establish new markets to create and grow revenue sources and to verify and report data that proves to consumers that crops were produced sustainably, Vilsack said.

"Farmers, ranchers, producers ... around this country fully understand and appreciate the challenges of climate change

probably better than just about anybody on the planet," Vilsack said Friday during a visit to Isbell Farms in England.

 "They deal with it every single day, they deal with it in the form of mega droughts in some parts of our country,

forest fires in other parts of our country, major floods that take place periodically and with greater frequency and intensity 

"They also know that they have a responsibility which they take very seriously, and that responsibility is to be the stewards of our land and water," Vilsack said.