- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is targeting rural poverty in West Virginia, Virginia and more than a dozen other states.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Tuesday that the department will provide a total $15 million in technical and financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and private forest owners in areas with persistent poverty.

The funding is part of the department’s StrikeForce Initiative. It can be used for water conservation improvements, soil protection and other conservation improvements.

The StrikeForce Initiative serves 30 counties in West Virginia and 51 counties in Virginia.

___

Online:

USDA StrikeForce Initiative: http://1.usa.gov/1gMTyRK