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  1. USDA’s Farm Service Agency Expands Bridges to Opportunity Nationwide

    Thu Jan 19, 2017 at 06:36 PM

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2017 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced the expansion of a unique service for farmers and ranchers. FSA’s Bridges to Opportunity program provides a one-stop-shop that connects producers with resources, programs and educational services offered across the department, as well as from other USDA partner organizations. Bridges to Opportunity, which currently provides enhanced customer support to more than 150,000 customers in 20 states, will expand to serve customers across the country before the end of the month using fiscal year 2016 funds.

  2. USDA Expands Grasslands Conservation Program to Small-Scale Livestock Producers

    Wed Jan 18, 2017 at 02:06 PM

    WASHINGTON, Jan.13, 2017 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini today announced that USDA will accept over 300,000 acres in 43 states that were offered by producers during the recent ranking period for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Grasslands enrollment with emphasis placed on small-scale livestock operations. Through the voluntary CRP Grasslands program, grasslands threatened by development or conversion to row crops are maintained as livestock grazing areas, while providing important conservation benefits. Approximately 200,000 of the accepted acres were offered by small-scale livestock operations.

  3. USDA Makes it Easier to Transfer Land to the Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers

    Thu Jan 5, 2017 at 03:39 PM

    DES MOINES, Iowa, Dec. 29, 2016 – Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary Lanon Baccam today announced that beginning Jan. 9, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will offer an early termination opportunity for certain Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts, making it easier to transfer property to the next generation of farmers and ranchers, including family members. The land that is eligible for the early termination is among the least environmentally sensitive land enrolled in CRP.

  4. USDA Provides New Cost Share Opportunities for Organic Producers and Handlers

    Wed Dec 28, 2016 at 04:08 PM

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that starting March 20, 2017, organic producers and handlers will be able to visit over 2,100 USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices to apply for federal reimbursement to assist with the cost of receiving and maintaining organic or transitional certification.

  5. USDA Announces Additional Financial Incentives for Conservation Reserve Program Participants to Improve Forest Health and Enhance Wildlife Habitat

    Mon Dec 12, 2016 at 06:59 PM

    JACKSON, Miss., Dec. 9, 2016 – In an effort to improve wildlife habitat and the health of private forest lands, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced additional incentives available for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) participants to actively manage forest lands enrolled in the program.

  6. USDA Expands Farm Loans for Native Americans Farming and Ranching on Tribal Land

    Mon Dec 12, 2016 at 06:06 PM

    LAS VEGAS, Dec. 6, 2016 – Agriculture Under Secretary Michael T. Scuse today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved and obligated the first loan under the Highly Fractionated Indian Land Loan program (HFIL). The program, made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides revolving loan funds to qualified intermediary lenders, allowing qualified tribes and individuals the ability to purchase tribal farmland that has multiple owners. Scuse made the announcement during the Intertribal Agriculture Council Membership meeting in Las Vegas, Nev.

  7. USDA Announces New Conservation Opportunities to Improve Water Quality and Restore Wildlife Habitat

    Thu Dec 8, 2016 at 11:54 AM

    DES MOINES, Iowa, Dec. 7, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will offer farmers and ranchers more opportunities to participate in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The announcement includes new CRP practices to protect water quality and adds an additional 1.1 million acres targeted to benefit wildlife, pollinators and wetlands.

  8. Secretary Vilsack Appoints Members to the Council for Native American Farming and Ranching

    Tue Dec 6, 2016 at 04:07 PM

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2016 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the appointment of six new members and the re-appointment of five members to the Council for Native American Farming and Ranching. As a discretionary advisory committee, the Council provides recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture on changes to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations and other measures that would eliminate barriers to program participation for Native American farmers and ranchers.

  9. USDA Partners with Farmers and Ranchers to Protect More Than 500,000 Acres of Working Grasslands

    Thu Dec 1, 2016 at 05:08 PM

    WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2016 – Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Deputy Under Secretary Alexis Taylor today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will accept more than 504,000 acres that were offered by producers during the recent ranking period for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Grasslands enrollment. Through the voluntary CRP Grasslands program, grasslands threatened by development or conversion to row crops are maintained as livestock grazing areas, while providing important conservation benefits.

  10. Farm Service Agency Extends Voting Deadline for County Committee Elections

    Wed Nov 30, 2016 at 05:04 PM

    (BOISE, IDAHO) Nov. 29, 2016 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Idaho Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Mark Samson, today announced that the deadline to submit ballots for the 2016 County Committee Elections has been extended to ensure farmers and ranchers have sufficient time to vote. Eligible voters now have until Dec. 13, 2016 to return ballots to their local FSA offices. Producers who have not received their ballot should pick one up at their local FSA office.

  11. USDA Resumes Incentives to Grow the Bioeconomy and Improve Forest Health

    Thu Nov 17, 2016 at 05:29 PM

    WASHINGTON, Nov. 10, 2016 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini today announced that $1.5 million will be available in fiscal year 2017 for farmers and foresters who harvest and deliver biomass for renewable energy. The funds are from the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), which was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

  12. USDA Expands Working-Lands Conservation Opportunities through CRP

    Tue Nov 15, 2016 at 04:24 PM

    HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 4, 2016 – Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Deputy Under Secretary Alexis Taylor today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will offer a new Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Grasslands practice specifically tailored for small-scale livestock grazing operations. Small livestock operations with 100 or fewer head of grazing dairy cows (or the equivalent) can submit applications to enroll up to 200 acres of grasslands per farm. USDA’s goal is to enroll up to 200,000 acres.

  13. FSA County Committee Elections to Begin; Producers to Receive Ballots Week of Nov. 7

    Thu Nov 3, 2016 at 01:00 PM

    WASHINGTON, Nov. 3, 2016 – Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin mailing ballots to eligible farmers and ranchers across the country for the 2016 FSA County Committee elections on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. Producers must return ballots to their local FSA offices by Dec. 5, 2016, to ensure that their vote is counted.

  14. USDA Announces Enrollment Period for Safety Net Coverage in 2017

    Tue Nov 1, 2016 at 05:00 PM

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2016 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini today announced that producers on farms with base acres under the safety net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill, known as the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, can begin visiting FSA county offices starting Nov. 1, 2016, to sign contracts and enroll for the 2017 crop year. The enrollment period will continue until Aug. 1, 2017.

  15. USDA Invests $1.7 Billion to Protect Sensitive Agricultural Lands through Conservation Reserve Program

    Mon Oct 31, 2016 at 05:54 PM

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will issue nearly $1.7 billion in payments to more than half of a million Americans who have contracts with the government to protect sensitive agricultural lands. The investment, part of the voluntary USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), will allow producers to protect almost 24 million acres of wetlands, grasslands and wildlife habitat in 2016.

  16. USDA Announces Streamlined Guaranteed Loans and Additional Lender Category for Small-Scale Operators

    Thu Oct 20, 2016 at 11:30 AM

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of a streamlined version of USDA guaranteed loans, which are tailored for smaller scale farms and urban producers. The program, called EZ Guarantee Loans, uses a simplified application process to help beginning, small, underserved and family farmers and ranchers apply for loans of up to $100,000 from USDA-approved lenders to purchase farmland or finance agricultural operations.

  17. USDA Issues Safety-Net Payments to Idaho Farmers in Response to 2015 Market Downturn

    Thu Oct 13, 2016 at 09:40 AM

    (Boise, Idaho) Oct. 12, 2016 – USDA Idaho Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Mark Samson announced that approximately 24,000 Idaho farms that enrolled in safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill will receive financial assistance for the 2015 crop year. The programs, known as Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), are designed to protect against unexpected drops in crop prices or revenues due to market downturns.

  18. USDA to Purchase Surplus Cheese for Food Banks and Families in Need, Continue to Assist Dairy Producers

    Tue Aug 23, 2016 at 01:00 PM

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 23, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced plans to purchase approximately 11 million pounds of cheese from private inventories to assist food banks and pantries across the nation, while reducing a cheese surplus that is at its highest level in 30 years. The purchase, valued at $20 million, will be provided to families in need across the country through USDA nutrition assistance programs, while assisting the stalled marketplace for dairy producers whose revenues have dropped 35 percent over the past two years.

  19. USDA Announces Safety Net Assistance for Milk Producers Due to Tightening Dairy Margins May/June 2016 Average Margins Below $6

    Thu Aug 4, 2016 at 02:00 PM

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 4, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced approximately $11.2 million in financial assistance to American dairy producers enrolled in the 2016 Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy). The payment rate for May/June 2016 will be the largest since the program began in 2014. The narrowing margin between milk prices and the cost of feed triggered the payments, as provided for by the 2014 Farm Bill.

  20. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Proclaims August 7-13 National Farmers Market Week

    Mon Aug 1, 2016 at 01:00 PM

    WASHINGTON, August 1, 2016 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack signed a proclamation declaring Aug. 7-13, 2016, as "National Farmers Market Week." This year marks the 17th annual National Farmers Market Week to honor and celebrate the important role that farmers markets play in local economies.

  21. Idaho Producers Reminded of Nearing Deadline to Submit Nominations for Farm Service Agency County Committees

    Mon Jul 25, 2016 at 01:00 PM

    (BOISE, ID) July 25, 2016 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Idaho Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Mark Samson, today reminded farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers that they have until Aug. 1, 2016, to nominate eligible candidates to serve on local FSA county committees.

  22. USDA Reminds Idaho Producers of Aug. 1 Deadline to Enroll in Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Programs

    Thu Jul 21, 2016 at 01:00 PM

    (208)378-5655(BOISE, IDAHO), July, 21, 2016 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Idaho Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, Mark Samson reminds farmers and ranchers that they have until Aug. 1 to enroll in Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and/or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2016 crop year.

  23. Dairy Producers Can Enroll Today to Protect Milk Production Margins

    Thu Jul 7, 2016 at 01:00 PM

    Boise, Idaho, July 7, 2016 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Idaho today announced that dairy producers could begin enrolling for 2017 coverage in the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) starting July 1. The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating dairy producers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the producer.

  24. Farm Service Agency County Committee Nomination Period Begins June 15

    Tue Jun 14, 2016 at 01:00 PM

    WASHINGTON, June 14, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that the nomination period for farmers and ranchers to serve on local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees begins Wednesday, June 15, 2016.

  25. USDA Designates 4 Counties in Idaho as Primary Natural Disaster Areas With Assistance to Producers in Surrounding States

    Thu May 26, 2016 at 01:00 PM

    WASHINGTON, May 26, 2016 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Canyon, Owyhee, Payette and Washington counties in Idaho as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought.

  26. USDA Removes Farm Program Payments to Managers Not Actively Engaged in Farming

    Tue Dec 15, 2015 at 01:00 PM

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today finalized a rule to ensure that farm safety-net payments are issued only to active managers of farms that operate as joint ventures or general partnerships, consistent with the direction and authority provide by Congress in the 2014 Farm Bill. The action, which exempts family farm operations, closes a loophole where individuals who were not actively part of farm management still received payments.

  27. FSA County Committee Elections to Begin; Producers to Receive Ballots Week of Nov. 9

    Thu Nov 5, 2015 at 01:00 PM

    WASHINGTON, Nov. 5, 2015 – Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin mailing ballots to eligible farmers and ranchers across the country for the 2015 FSA County Committee elections on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. Producers must return ballots to their local FSA offices by Dec. 7, 2015, to ensure that their vote is counted.

  28. USDA Issues Safety Net Payments to Farmers Facing Market Downturn

    Fri Oct 16, 2015 at 01:00 PM

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2015 — The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that beginning today, nearly one half of the 1.7 million farms that signed up for either the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs will receive safety-net payments for the 2014 crop year.

  29. Emergency Haying and Grazing Approved for Eight Idaho Counties

    Thu Oct 1, 2015 at 01:00 PM

    (Boise, Idaho), October 1, 2015 — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Idaho Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Mark Samson announced that the Idaho FSA State Committee has authorized emergency haying and grazing use of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres due to drought.

  30. USDA Extends Dairy Margin Program Deadline

    Tue Sep 22, 2015 at 01:00 PM

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the deadline to enroll for the dairy Margin Protection Program for coverage in 2016 has been extended until Nov. 20, 2015. The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.

  31. USDA Offers Help to Fire-Affected Farmers and Ranchers

    Tue Sep 15, 2015 at 01:00 PM

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds farmers and ranchers affected by the recent wildfires in Alaska, California, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Washington State that USDA has programs to assist with their recovery efforts.

  32. USDA Commodity Loans Available to Idaho Producers

    Mon Sep 14, 2015 at 01:00 PM

    (BOISE, IDAHO), September 17, 2015 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Idaho Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Mark Samson reminds producers that USDA offers interim financing at harvest time to help producers meet cash flow needs without having to sell commodities when market prices are at harvest-time lows. The programs, known as Marketing Assistance Loans (MALs) and Loan Deficiency Payments (LDPs), were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill for the 2014-2018 crop years.

  33. Deadline to Enroll in Key Farm Bill Safety Net Programs Approaches

    Thu Sep 3, 2015 at 01:00 PM

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 3, 2015 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini reminds farmers and ranchers that they have until Sept. 30 to enroll in several key Farm Bill safety net programs – Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC), Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy).

  34. CRP Acres in Nine Counties Now Eligible for Emergency Haying and Grazing

    Tue Aug 18, 2015 at 12:00 PM

     (Boise, Idaho), Aug. 18, 2015 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Idaho Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Mark Samson announced nine Idaho counties have been authorized for emergency haying and grazing use of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres due to drought.

  35. USDA Adds More Eligible Commodities for Farm Storage Facility Loans

    Mon Aug 17, 2015 at 02:00 PM

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 17, 2015 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini today announced that the Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program, which provides low-interest financing to producers to build or upgrade storage facilities, will now include dairy, flowers and meats as eligible commodities.

  36. Enrollment for 2016 Dairy Margin Protection Program Begins July 1

    Wed Jul 1, 2015 at 02:00 PM

    (Boise, Idaho) – July 1, 2015 — On June 29, 2015, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden announced that as of July 1, 2015 dairy farmers can enroll in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Margin Protection Program for coverage in 2016. The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating dairy operations when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer. Harden made the announcement while visiting Wolfe’s Neck Farm and dairy school in Freeport, Maine.

  37. USDA Adds Two More Idaho Counties to List of Primary Disaster Areas

    Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 01:00 PM

    (Boise, Idaho), June 25, 2015 — Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated Clark and Jefferson counties in Idaho as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by drought. This brings the total Idaho Counties that carry Primary Disaster Designations to 15.

  38. USDA Opens Enrollment Period for Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Safety-Net Programs

    Mon Jun 15, 2015 at 01:00 PM

    WASHINGTON, June 15, 2015 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that eligible producers may now formally enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for 2014 and 2015. The enrollment period begins June 17, 2015, and will end Sept. 30, 2015.

  39. USDA Reminds Farmers to Certify Conservation Compliance by June 1 Deadline Producers May Need to Take Action to Remain Eligible for Crop Insurance Premium Support

    Thu May 21, 2015 at 05:49 PM

    WASHINGTON, May 21, 2015 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds farmers to file a Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification form (AD-1026) with their local USDA Service Center by June 1, 2015. The 2014 Farm Bill requires producers to have the form on file in order to remain eligible, or to become eligible for crop insurance premium support.

  40. USDA Designates 5 Counties in Idaho as Primary natural Disaster Areas

    Wed May 6, 2015 at 01:00 PM

    WASHINGTON, May 6, 2015 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Blaine, Butte, Canyon, Custer and Payette counties in Idaho as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought.

  41. USDA Provides One Time Extension of Deadline to Update Base Acres or Yield History for ARC/PLC Programs

    Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 02:00 PM

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2015 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that a one-time extension will be provided to producers for the new safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill, known as Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). The final day to update yield history or reallocate base acres has been extended one additional month, from Feb. 27, 2015 until March 31, 2015. The final day for farm owners and producers to choose ARC or PLC coverage also remains March 31, 2015.

  42. More than Half of Nation’s Dairy Producers Enroll in New Margin Protection ProgramIdaho’s Enrollment was Over 60%

    Thu Jan 15, 2015 at 01:00 PM

    IDAHO, Jan. 15, 2015 — On January 12th, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that more than 23,000 of the nation’s dairy operations – over half of all dairy farms in America – have enrolled in the new safety-net program created by the 2014 Farm Bill, known as the Margin Protection Program. The voluntary program provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.