U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was in Tucson Thursday afternoon at the University of Arizona to discuss the state of agriculture and programs to help revitalize the industry.

Joshua Moore, who was on the panel of other stakeholders, knows how important agriculture is to our daily lives. Hes a farmer at the Colorado River Indian Reservation in western Arizona.

“There was a sticker that I had on my pickup truck that says Without agriculture, youd be naked, hungry and sober,'” he said.

During Thursday’s presentation, Vilsack highlighted projects under the USDAs Climate-Smart Commodities Initiative that aim to help the states producers overcome various challenges they face.

“Its one of those things where access to capital, access to loans and programs,” Moore said of the challenges faced by new and veteran producers. “All of those are huge barriers that a lot of young people find quite insurmountable and they dont end up going into agriculture.”

Its barriers like those mentioned by Moore that Vilsack says can and will be overcome through this Climate-Smart Initiative.

“Today consolidation of income and the rapid number of consolidating larger farms, its very difficult for small and mid-size producers to have a shot and now they do,” said Vilsack speaking with media following the presentation.

For Moore, a millennial producer who represents just nine percent of the countrys 3.4 million farmers, he hopes these latest initiatives help current and future farmers, as they have for him in the past.

“I think the fact is, you have more people interested in getting back into food production now than in the last fifty years alone and Im excited about that.”