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Ohio State Office

State Executive Director

Mark VanHoose

Mark VanHoose

Read Mark VanHoose '

State Office Address

200 North High St
Room 540
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 255-2441

Welcome to the USDA Ohio Farm Service Agency Website

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) serves America’s farmers, growers and producers through a network of over 2,100 offices in nearly every rural county in the United States, providing localized service to potential and current farmers who, in turn, provide our nation and the world with safe, affordable and reliable food, fuel and fiber. 

To make this possible, FSA works to effectively implement farm legislation, providing payments and services that farmers and producers need by administering credit and loan programs while managing conservation, commodity, farm marketing programs and providing risk management assistance and recovery support in times of economic distress or disaster.  FSA’s administers disaster assistance programs that provides financial support to crop and livestock producers affected by drought, flood, and other natural disasters. FSA also provides support to assist farmers in managing financial risks associated with commodity price and revenue fluctuations through commodity programs.  FSA’s conservation programs assist farmers and landowners in applying conservation measures to enhance and maintain the quality of soil, water, and related natural resources and wildlife.

Contact your local USDA FSA County office to learn more about our programs, loans and services our agency provides.

USDA Announces Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing up to $200 million to provide relief to timber harvesting and timber hauling businesses that have experienced losses due to COVID-19.  The new program, Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers (PATHH), is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.

Timber harvesting and hauling businesses that have experienced a gross revenue loss of at least 10% during the period of January 1 and December 1, 2020, compared to the period of January 1 and December 1, 2019, are encouraged to apply. Eligible loggers and truckers can submit their application through FSA starting July 22 through October 15, 2021. PATHH is administered by FSA in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service.  For additional program details, visit farmers.gov/pathh or contact local USDA FSA County office.

USDA Launches Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program to Aid Swine, Poultry Producers

Swine, chicken and turkey producers who suffered losses during the pandemic due to insufficient access to processing can apply for assistance for those losses and the cost of depopulation and disposal of the animals.

The Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program (PLIP) is being implemented by FSA. Offices will accept applications for assistance from July 20-Sept. 17, 2021.

The payments to producers are for losses of livestock or poultry depopulated from March 1, 2020 through December 26, 2020, due to insufficient processing access as a result of the pandemic. For additional program details, including payment rates, visit farmers.gov/PLIP, or contact local USDA FSA County office.

FSA Now Accepting Nominations for County Committees through Aug. 2

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) is now accepting nominations for county committees now through Aug. 2, 2021.  Elections will take place starting in November. 

County committees are unique to FSA and serve as a direct link between agricultural communities across the country and USDA. For more information on FSA county committees, visit fsa.usda.gov/elections.

USDA Announces Dates for Conservation Reserve Program General, Grasslands, CLEAR30 Signups

County Farm Service Agency offices continue to accept applications for general Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres. The deadline for landowners interested in submitting an application for CRP General Signup is July 23, 2021. FSA opened the General Signup in January 2021 and extended the original deadline to July 23, 2021, to enable producers to consider FSA’s new improvements to the program.  To view what these changes are, please click here for the CRP Fact Sheet.  For more information on CRP, call your USDA FSA County office to schedule an appointment.

CRP is a land conservation program administered by FSA. In exchange for a yearly rental payment, farmers enrolled in the program agree to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and plant species that will improve environmental health and quality.  The long-term goal of the program is to re-establish valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat. 

CRP Grassland Program Signup Period Open Through Aug. 20

FSA is accepting applications for the CRP Grasslands program starting July 12, and the application period will be open through Aug. 20, 2021.  CRP Grasslands helps producers and landowners protect grassland while enabling grazing activities to continue. Lands enrolled support grazing operations and promote plant and animal biodiversity. Lands are also protected from being developed. Timing of some activities, such as haying or mowing, may be restricted by the primary nesting season of birds.

USDA updated both CRP General signup and the CRP Grasslands Program signup options this year to provide better incentives for producers and increase its conservation benefits, including reducing the impacts of climate change.  Both CRP General Signup and CRP Grasslands programs are competitive and provide annual rental payments for land devoted to conservation purposes.  

USDA Announces CRP CLEAR30 Signup

CLEAR30 is a water-quality focused option available through CRP to agricultural producers. It offers an opportunity for producers to receive incentives for a 30-year commitment to water quality practices on their CRP land, building on their original 10 - to 15-year CRP contracts. 

Eligible producers must have certain water quality benefitting practices currently enrolled under continuous CRP or through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), under contracts that are expiring on September 30, 2021. Interested producers with CRP contracts expiring September 30, 2021, should sign up by August 6, 2021.

For more information on CRP General Signup, Continuous CRP, CREP, CLEAR30, Grasslands or SAFE initiative's, call your local USDA FSA County office to schedule an appointment.

USDA Service Centers Reopens to In-Person Visitors By Appointment Only; Services Also Available Through Phone, Email

In response to COVID-19, all USDA FSA Service Centers in Ohio are limiting in-person office visits to by-appointment-only. FSA staff also continue to work with customers via phone, email and other digital tools.  To make an in-person or phone appointment, contact your local USDA FSA County office

All Service Center customers wishing to conduct business should call for an appointment. For those offices open to in-person traffic, visitors will be pre-screened based on health concerns or recent travel and must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors will be required to wear a face covering during their appointment. 

To schedule an appointment, contact your local USDA FSA County office.  

Ask the Expert: Understanding the U.S. Drought Monitor; a Q&A with Brian Fuchs

In this Ask the Expert, climatologist Brian Fuchs answers questions about the U.S. Drought Monitor and how it relates to USDA and supports agricultural producers. Brian is part of the team at the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln that manages the drought map. The drought monitor is an online, weekly map showing the extent and severity of drought across the United States.

Learn more about the U.S. Drought Monitor.

USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers

USDA is committed to delivering financial assistance to farmers, and agricultural producers who have been impacted by COVID-19 market disruptions. Through this new initiative – USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers – USDA is dedicating at least $6 billion towards new programs to reach a broad set of producers.  U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative on March 24, 2021.  

Please stay tuned for additional information and announcements under the USDA Pandemic Assistance to Producers initiative, which will help to expand and more equitably distribute financial assistance to producers and farming operations during the COVID-19 national emergency. Please visit www.farmers.gov for more information on the details of this announcement.

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program - Program Update

Has your operation been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic? USDA is implementing updates to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program for producers of agricultural commodities marketed in 2020 who faced market disruptions due to COVID-19. This is part of a larger initiative to improve USDA pandemic assistance to producers.  USDA’s Farm Service Agency will accept new and modified CFAP 2 applications beginning April 5. 

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced an expansion of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) on March 24, 2021. This is part of a larger effort to reach a greater share of farming operations and improve USDA pandemic assistance. CFAP updates include reopening of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2), additional payments for eligible cattle and row crop producers, and the processing of payments for certain applications filed as part of CFAP Additional Assistance.  You can access a full list of all eligible and ineligible commodities outlined by payment category at farmers.gov/cfap/commodities.

Visit farmers.gov/cfap for more information on the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, including eligible commodities, producer eligibility, payment limitations and structure, and options to apply starting April 5.

USDA will reopen sign-up for CFAP 2 for at least 60 days beginning on April 5, 2021. Learn more about applying for CFAP 2 and other recent CFAP updates.

Are you interested in FSA's Loan program and have questions?

Farming is a business, and just like other business owners, farmers need access to financial resources (i.e., capital) to grow and build their enterprises. FSA Direct Farm Operating Loans support established, underserved, and beginning farmers by providing short-term financing to cover annual operating expenses. FSA Guaranteed Farm Operating Loans help farmers obtain more affordable financing from a bank or other lending institution by providing the commercial lender a government guarantee.  FSA Microloans are tailored to the smaller-scale operations of beginning farmers and farmers serving local and regional food markets – including urban and small-scale diversified farmers.

FSA offers loans to help farmers get the financing they need to start, expand or maintain a family farm.  FSA offers targeted farm ownership and farm operating loans to assist underserved applicants as well as beginning farmers. USDA defines underserved applicants as a group whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice because of their identity as members of the group without regard to their individual qualities. For farm loan program purposes, targeted underserved groups are women, African Americans, American Indians and Alaskan Natives, Hispanics and Asians and Pacific Islanders. 

Check out FSA's Guide to Farm Loans.  This guidebook simplifies information on the types of farm loans available; how to apply for a guaranteed loan, direct loan, or land contract guarantee; what you can expect once you submit your application; and most importantly, your rights and responsibilities as an FSA customer.  Visit our Farm Loan Discovery Tool to find the loan that’s right for you.  Visit our Farm Loan page, to learn more about our types of loans.

Farm Loan Current Interest Rates

FSA Offers New Loans for Portable Farm Storage and Handling Equipment. Can Help Producers Get Products to Market Quickly

FSA provides a new financing option to help farmers purchase portable storage and handling equipment. The loans, which now include a smaller microloan option with lower down payments, are designed to help producers, including new, small and mid-sized producers, grow their businesses and markets. For more information, check out FSA's Farm Storage Facility Loan Program.

Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Current Interest Rates

Are you interested in getting started into farming and need assistance that connects farm entrepreneurs with programs, services and resources available

Check out USDA's New and Beginning Farmers Website.

The site features advice and guidance on everything a new farm business owner needs to know, from writing a business plan, to obtaining a loan to grow their business, to filing taxes as a new small business owner, starting or expanding an operation, developing new markets, supporting more effective farming and conservation practices, and having access to relevant training and education opportunities. By answering a series of questions about their operation, farmers can use the site’s Discovery Tool to build a personalized set of recommendations of USDA programs and services that may meet their needs.

To learn more about USDA's New and Beginning Farmers website, visit www.usda.gov/newfarmers.

Important Dates to Remember

  • July 20 --- First day of Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program (PLIP) Sign-up.
  • July 22 --- First day of Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers program (PATHH) Sign-up. 
  • July 23 --- Last day to enroll in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) General Sign-up.
  • Aug. 2 ---- Last day to submit Nominations for 2021 FSA County Committee Elections to FSA.
  • Aug. 2 ---- Deadline to request a farm reconstitution or farm transfer for 2021.
  • Aug. 6 ---- Last day to enroll in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Continuous and CLEAR30.
  • Aug. 20 -- Last day to enroll in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Grasslands Sign-up.
  • Aug. 31 -- Deadline to obtain 2021 NAP coverage for Aquaculture, Christmas trees, Floriculture, Ginseng, Mushrooms, Turf grass Sod and Watercress.
  • Sept. 6 --- Labor Day Holiday. FSA Offices Closed.
  • Sept. 17 -- Deadline to apply for the Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program (PLIP) assistance.
  • Oct. 15 --- Deadline to apply for the Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers program (PATHH) assistance.


  • Deadline TBACoronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) 2 as FSA will accept new and modified CFAP 2 applications. 
  • Reports of Failed Acreage must be filed with the County Office before disposition of the crop.
  • Reports of Prevented Planting Acreage must be filed with the County Office no later than 15 calendar days after the final planting date for that county and producers of hand-harvested crops and certain perishable crops must notify FSA within 72 hours of when a loss becomes apparent.

For more information, contact your local USDA FSA County office.

Stay Current on FSA News - Sign-up to receive free electronic news from your FSA County Office

GovDelivery is a free email service that enables FSA county offices to send you bulletins, deadline reminders, newsletters and texts instantly. For text updates, contact your FSA county office. For bulletins and newsletters via email - sign up now to receive information about program details, signup dates and deadlines. Ask about FSA's GovDelivery electronic news and text updates and how to sign-up at your FSA County Office.