Our primary mission at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency is to assist Alaska farmers and ranchers secure the greatest possible benefit from programs administered by FSA such as farm loans, commodity price support, disaster relief, conservation, reimbursable transportation cost payment program (RTCP) or other available resources. The hard-working men and women of Alaska’s FSA county offices are at the forefront of our efforts and remain the primary contact for program participation. We encourage you to speak with the staff at your local FSA office on how we can be of service. Our user friendly web site can help you learn more about FSA programs and services.
Alaska State Farm Service Agency
800 E. Palmer-Wasilla Hwy., Suite 216
Palmer, AK 99645-6546
Bryan J Scoresby
Committee Chair Scott Mugrage - Delta Junction
Joe Orsi - Juneau
Richelle Plummer - Matanuska Valley
Al Poindexter - Kenai Peninsula
Lorne White - Kodiak
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2
Are you a farmer or rancher whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic? USDA is implementing Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19.
Farm Service Agency will accept CFAP 2 applications from September 21 through December 11, 2020.
A call center will be available for producers who would like additional one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application process. Please call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. To find the latest information on CFAP 2, including forms and the contact information for your local Service Center, visit farmers.gov/CFAP.
USDA Reminds Farmers and Ranchers of Nov. 2 Deadline to Submit Your RTCP Receipts
The Reimbursement Transportation Cost Program (RTCP) signup ends on September 4, 2020. This program covered transportation expenses incurred from October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020. If you applied for the RTCP program, and have not turned all your receipts in to the FSA office, now is the time to do so. Applicants will have until COB on Nov. 2, 2020, to provide supporting documentation. If you have any questions, contact your local FSA office.
For more information on RTCP, farmers and ranchers in the eligible areas can visit their FSA county office or the FSA website at fsa.usda.gov/pricesupport. To locate your local FSA office visit farmers.gov/service-center-locator.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide approximately $530 million to support the U.S. seafood industry and fishermen impacted by retaliatory tariffs from foreign governments. The funding will be provided through the Seafood Trade Relief Program and funded through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA).
The Seafood Trade Relief Program funding will support the following seafood types:
Fishermen can sign-up for relief through the program from September 14, 2020 to December 14, 2020. Fishermen should apply through their local USDA Service Center. To find your local Service Center, visit www.farmers.gov/service-center-locator. The application can be found at www.farmers.gov/seafood.
All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors are also required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Our program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with our producers in the office, by phone and using online tools. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.
USDA Encourages Producers to Consider NAP Risk Protection Coverage Before Crop Sales Deadlines
The Farm Service Agency encourages producers to examine available USDA crop risk protection options, including federal crop insurance and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage, before the applicable crop sales deadline.
Producers are reminded that crops not covered by insurance may be eligible for NAP. Beginning, underserved and limited resource farmers are now eligible for free catastrophic level coverage.
Federal crop insurance covers crop losses from natural adversities such as drought, hail and excessive moisture. NAP covers losses from natural disasters on crops for which no permanent federal crop insurance program is available, including perennial grass forage and grazing crops, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, ginseng, honey, syrup, bioenergy, and industrial crops.
Producers can determine if crops are eligible for federal crop insurance or NAP by visiting https://webapp.rma.usda.gov/apps/ActuarialInformationBrowser2018/CropCriteria.aspx?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery.
The 2018 Farm Bill reinstates higher levels of coverage, from 50 to 65 percent of expected production in 5 percent increments, at 100 percent of the average market price. Producers of organics and crops marketed directly to consumers also may exercise the “buy-up” option to obtain NAP coverage of 100 percent of the average market price at the coverage levels of between 50 and 65 percent of expected production. NAP basic coverage is available at 55 percent of the average market price for crop losses that exceed 50 percent of expected production.
For all coverage levels, the NAP service fee is the lesser of $325 per crop or $825 per producer per county, not to exceed a total of $1,950 for a producer with farming interests in multiple counties.
For Alaska, 2020 Fall deadlines for crop year 2021 coverage:
The following crops in Alaska have a NAP application deadline of September 01, 2020: Floriculture (Peonies), Aquaculture, Turf Grass
The following crops in Alaska have a NAP application deadline of September 30, 2020: Perennial Grass Forage (Perennial Grasses intended use seed), Honey
Deadlines for coverage vary by state and crop. To learn more about NAP visit www.fsa.usda.gov/nap or contact your local USDA Service Center. To find your local USDA Service Centers go to http://offices.usda.gov.
Federal crop insurance coverage is sold and delivered solely through private insurance agents. Agent lists are available at all USDA Service Centers or at USDA’s online Agent Locator: http://prodwebnlb.rma.usda.gov/apps/AgentLocator/#. Producers can use the USDA Cost Estimator, https://ewebapp.rma.usda.gov/apps/costestimator/Default.aspx?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery, to predict insurance premium costs.
The 2020 Farm Service Agency County Committee Elections will begin on Nov. 2, when ballots will be mailed to eligible voters. The deadline to return the ballots to local FSA offices, or to be postmarked, is Dec. 7, 2020.
County committee members are an important component of the operations of FSA and provide a link between the agricultural community and USDA. Farmers and ranchers elected to county committees help deliver FSA programs at the local level, applying their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on commodity price support programs; conservation programs; incentive indemnity and disaster programs for some commodities; emergency programs and eligibility. FSA committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.
To be an eligible voter, farmers and ranchers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program. A person who is not of legal voting age but supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm, may also be eligible to vote.
Eligible voters in the Northern County local administrative area (LAA 2) and the Southern County local administrative area (LAA 3), who do not receive a ballot can obtain one from their local USDA Service Center.
Newly elected committee members will take office Jan. 1, 2021.
The following are this year’s candidates who have been nominated in their LAA’s to serve as a committee member. All candidates have agreed to serve if elected.
Northern County LAA-2 Area beginning where the Clearwater road intersects the AK Hwy NE to north line of Southeast Fairbanks census area, proceeding NE to Canadian border, then SE following Canadian border, where the Alaska Gateway Regional Educational Attendance Area (AKGREAA) line intersects the Canadian border, turning NW following AKGREAA line to the AK Hwy, then proceed NW on AK Hwy to Clearwater road.
Steven Helkenn resides in LAA-2 and has produced Hay, Oats, Barley and raises pigs and cattle for over 37 years. Steven has served on the FSA County Committee in the past and has lived and farmed the same farm for all these years.
Connie Plagerman resides in LAA-2, and has produced Hay, Oats and Bison for 11 years. The Plagerman Farm has been active member of Alaska Farm Bureau for years.
Election Ballots will be Counted in Public at the Northern County FSA Office at 10:00 a.m. on December 10, 2020.
Southern County LAA-3 Includes the Matanuska Borough.
Suzy Crosby moved from Montana to Alaska in 1983. Coming from a background in cattle ranching, she found that her real passion came in a smaller package – dairy goats! Suzy and her husband own and operate Cottonwood Creek Farm, where they have been operating a herd-share program and raising show-quality registered Alpine dairy goats since 2002.
Janet Dinwiddie grew up in Palmer the heart of Matanuska Valley. She was raised on her family's upick vegetable farm-Pyrah's Pioneer Peak Farm. Pyrah's has been operating for 40 years raising a variety of crops and hosting public events and festivals to help provide a gathering place for the community. After high school Janet graduated from Utah State University. Eventually Janet and her family came back to Alaska, to help run Pyrah’s.
Michael “Mike” Williams has lived in Alaska for 37 years and is a 26 year resident of the Alaska Bush 40 miles northwest of Anchorage on Mt. Susitna. Mike and his family have been growing peonies and roots for the commercial flower market for the past 11 years. He is a past board member of the Alaska Farmland Trust and was the 2014 Alaska Farm Family. Mike brings a unique perspective of farming opportunities in the Alaska Bush and statewide. Mike’s family is very involved in developing agriculture opportunities for military veterans.
Election Ballots will be Counted in Public at the Southern County FSA Office at 1:00 p.m. on December 10, 2020.
The three-member Northern and Southern County Farm Service Agency committees will meet as announced. A notice will be posted in the monthly State newsletter announcing the next scheduled meeting.
Rebecca Hammond, LAA-1
Steven Helkenn, LAA-2
Robert Green, Chair LAA-3
Rita Jo Shoultz, LAA-1
Abby Ala, LAA-2
Janet Dinwiddie, Chair LAA-3
Elected county committee members serve a three-year term and are responsible for making decisions on FSA disaster, conservation, commodity, and price support programs, as well as other important federal farm program issues.
County committee members are a valuable asset because they are comprised of local producers who participate in FSA programs themselves and have a direct connection to farmers and ranchers in the community.
For more information about county committees, please contact the Northern County FSA office at 907-895-4242 and the Southern County FSA office at 907-761-7754 or visit www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.
GovDelivery is a free email service that enables FSA County Offices to send you bulletins, deadline reminders and newsletters instantly. Sign up now to receive information faster and reduce printing and mailing costs. Sign up HERE.
Subscribers Can Receive Important Program Reminders and Updates
Farmers and ranchers in Alaska now can receive notifications from their county office through text messages on their cell phone.
Whether producers are in the field, on a tractor or even on horseback, this service enables FSA customers and stakeholders to receive notifications while on the go. Producers will receive text messages regarding important program deadlines, reporting requirements, outreach events and updates.
Producers can text AKDeltaJunction or AKPalmer to FSANOW (372-669) to subscribe to text message alerts from the Northern and Southern County Offices. Standard text messaging rates apply. Contact your wireless carrier for details associated with your particular data plan. Participants may unsubscribe at any time.
Please contact Lloyd Wilhelm, Northern County Executive Director, at (907) 895-4242, firstname.lastname@example.org. or Erin Sturdivant, Southern County Executive Director, at (907) 761-7754 email@example.com if you have questions regarding FSA’s email news service or text message option.
Are you a farmer or rancher who has substantially participated in a farming operation for at least three but no more than 10 years? Or are you a woman or minority-owned agricultural business? If so, you may qualify for beginning farmer or socially disadvantaged targeted loan funds with the Farm Service Agency. The USDA/Farm Service Agency makes both direct and guaranteed farm ownership and operating loans to family-size farmers and ranchers who cannot obtain financing from commercial credit sources. FSA loans can be used to purchase land, livestock, equipment, feed, seed and supplies. The loans can also be used to construct buildings or make farm improvements.
If you believe this program could be of benefit to you, please contact the Farm Service Agency Northern County Office at (907) 895-4242 or call (907) 761-7754 to reach the Southern County Office for more information. FSA loan officials will be happy to arrange an appointment to meet with you and discuss your options.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.
It is the responsibility of the producer to notify FSA throughout the year of any changes in farming operation or entity status. Please remember to update FSA records if you move or change your mailing address.