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Ohio State Office

State Executive Director

John Patterson

John Patterson

Read John Patterson'

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.

Learn more about FSA with a quick video introduction.


Subscribe to our Updates

Would you like monthly Ohio FSA News delivered to your email or local time-sensitive Text Alerts instantly on your mobile device?

FSA provides electronic news on programs direct to your email inbox.  It can help you remember important program announcements, deadlines and requirements so you can effectively utilize FSA programs in your farm operation.  In addition to the newsletter, you also can sign up to receive information through our Farmers.gov text messaging service from your County FSA office.  Our offices will only issue text messages to remind subscribers of timely, important program deadlines or other information. 

Visit farmers.gov/subscribe to sign-up and receive email and text message alerts from your USDA FSA County office.  

  

Done Planting?  Producers are encouraged to contact their FSA office to report their spring planted crop acreage reports.  

FSA offices are gearing up for the spring acreage certification season.  Producers are reminded to contact their county FSA office for instructions on the process their county office will use. Some offices make maps available ahead of time, while others encourage producers to keep track of what they plant, where they plant, and when they plant to aid in the certification process once planting is complete.  Please note we also need to know about any acres you are unable to plant due to weather circumstances. Updated records will also help this process run smoothly. Please contact your office as soon as possible, if you have had changes in your farming operation, such as renting new acreage for 2024, dropping farms, ownership changes, breaking out new land, and changes to your operation.  Producers also may access their maps online as long as they have an account established through the secure farmers.gov portal.

New Option to View, Print and Label Maps on Farmers.gov

Producers with an eAuth account linked to their USDA customer record can now access their FSA farm records, maps and common land units by logging into farmers.gov.  A new feature will allow producers to export field boundaries as shapefiles and import and view other shapefiles, such as precision agriculture boundaries. This will allow producers to view, print and label their own maps for acreage reporting purposes. 

Producers who have authority to act on behalf of another customer as a grantee via form FSA-211 Power of Attorney, Business Partner Signature Authority, along with other signature types, or as a member of a business can now access information in the farmers.gov portal.

Producers can learn how to use the farmers.gov Farm Records Mapping functionality with this fact sheet and these video tutorials. 

For questions regarding crop certification and crop loss reports, please contact your County FSA office.


USDA Now Accepting Applications for Available Funds to Help Cover Organic Certification Costs

Organic Producers and Handlers are Encouraged to apply for the Organic Certification Cost Share Program that can help cover up to 75% or organic certification costs

Through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP), FSA will cover up to 75% of organic certification costs at a maximum of $750 per certification category. FSA is now accepting applications, and organic producers and handlers should apply for OCCSP by the Oct. 31, 2024, deadline for eligible expenses incurred from Oct. 1, 2023, to Sept. 30, 2024. FSA will issue payments as applications are received and approved.

OCCSP provides cost-share assistance to producers and handlers of organic agricultural commodities for expenses incurred obtaining or maintaining organic certification under USDA’s National Organic Program. Eligible OCCSP applicants include any certified organic producers or handlers who have paid organic certification fees to a USDA-accredited certifying agent.

Cost share assistance covers expenses including application fees, inspection costs, fees related to equivalency agreement and arrangement requirements, inspector travel expenses, user fees, sales assessments and postage. OCCSP pays a maximum of $750 per certification category for crops, wild crops, livestock, processing/handling, and state organic program fees (California only).

How to Apply

To apply, producers and handlers should contact FSA at their County FSA office and be prepared to provide documentation of organic certification and eligible expenses. OCCSP applications can also be submitted through participating state departments of agriculture.  For more information, visit the OCCSP webpage.


Resources Available for Producers Impacted by Recent Tornadoes

Ohio FSA reminds agricultural producers who suffered impacts due to recent tornadoes and related extreme weather of programs that may be available for assistance, such as the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program, the Emergency Conservation Program and the Tree Assistance Program.

Some counties in Ohio have been impacted by the recent storms and tornadoes that occurred in March through May of 2024. Below is a current list of each natural disaster declaration.

The FSA administers FSA Disaster Programs to help producers recover from eligible losses from natural disasters including droughts, tornadoes, flooding and more.  FSA’s Emergency Loan Program provides loans to help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding, other natural disasters, or quarantine. 

We encourage you to contact your County FSA office to discuss program and loan options and what is needed for eligibility and to apply.


FSA Seeking Nominations for Farmers and Producers to Serve on Local County Committees

Nominations are now being accepted for farmers and producers to serve on their local FSA county committees. These committees make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally. All nomination forms for the 2024 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 1, 2024.

We encourage anyone interested to contact your County FSA office to learn more about the COC nomination and election process.


CRP Continuous Enrollment Signup Continues

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. Contracts for land enrolled in CRP are 10-15 years in length. 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. Under continuous CRP signup, environmentally sensitive land devoted to certain conservation practices can be enrolled in CRP at any time. Offers are automatically accepted provided the land and producer meet certain eligibility requirements and the enrollment levels do not exceed the statutory cap. Unlike CRP enrollments under general CRP signups or CRP Grasslands, offers for continuous enrollment are not subject to competitive bidding during specific periods.  To find your FSA office contact information, visit USDA FSA County office


Sign-up Continues for the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program

The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) is a part of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).  The CRP is a voluntary program that contracts with agricultural producers so that environmentally sensitive agricultural land is not farmed, but instead devoted to conservation benefits. CRP participants establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees (known as “covers”) to control soil erosion, improve water quality and develop wildlife habitat.

By enrolling in CREP, farmers and landowners are re-establishing valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, reduce loss of wildlife habitat, and address other objectives identified in the CREP agreement.  While enrolled in CREP, farmers and landowners receive an annual rental payment for the contract period and may be eligible for additional incentives. FSA also provides cost share assistance to help offset the costs associated with installing the conservation practices.

Interested in learning more about Ohio's 2 CREPs, check out the Lake Erie CREP fact sheet and the Scioto River Watershed CREP fact sheet.  

Producers interested in enrolling in an active CREP should contact their USDA FSA County office. Offers are accepted on a continuous basis.  Your FSA County office will determine if basic land and producer eligibility requirements for CRP, plus the additional requirements specified in the CREP agreement, are met.


FSA Offers an Opportunity to Increase Upland Bird, Pollinator and Monarch through the State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) Initiative 

Landowners and operators in designated counties throughout Ohio will have the opportunity to offer cropland for enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Pollinator and Monarch practice or the Upland Bird Practice entitled State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE). 

The Ohio Pollinator and Monarch SAFE project was designed in collaboration with pollinator experts and other conservation partners to help enhance and restore habitat for ecologically and economically significant pollinator species.  The goal of this project is to increase the amount of appropriate habitat for the monarch butterfly and other pollinators in Ohio.  

The Ohio Upland Bird SAFE utilizes a wildlife management practice specifically developed by conservation organizations and agencies located within Ohio to establish and restore habitat for ring-necked pheasant, bobwhite quail, and other upland birds on eligible cropland.  The program specifically targets declining quail and pheasant populations in areas of greatest impact.

For more information on Ohio's Pollinator and Monarch SAFE project, or Ohio's Upland Bird SAFE project visit your local FSA county office.    


FSA Continues Accepting Applications for Emergency Relief Program 2022

FSA offices across the state are now accepting applications for the Emergency Relief Program 2022, a program designed to provide financial assistance to commodity and specialty crop producers who experienced a loss of income due to qualifying natural disasters occurring in 2022.

To learn more, visit the Emergency Relief Program website and then contact your USDA FSA County office.


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. FSA launched a new online tool to help farmers and ranchers better navigate the farm loan application process. This uniform application process will help to ensure all farm loan applicants receive equal support and have a consistent customer experience with USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) regardless of their individual circumstances.  Farmers can also access the Loan Assistance Tool by visiting farmers.gov/farm-loan-assistance-tool and clicking the ‘Get Started’ button. From here they can follow the prompts to complete the Eligibility Self-Assessment and start the farm loan journey.

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

USDA recently published a new multi-agency guide for those that are new to farming, or perhaps just new to working with USDA.  This guide can help you get started with USDA, from farm loans to crop insurance, and conservation programs to disaster assistance.  If you're a farmer and are minority, woman, veteran, beginning, or limited resource producer, you can use the Get Started! A Guide to USDA Resources for Historically Underserved Farmers and Ranchers to learn about resources and programs offered through the Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Risk Management Agency (RMA). 

For those of you who are new to farming, or just new to working with FSA, your USDA FSA County office can help you establish your farm by registering for a farm number, which is required for USDA programs and assistance.

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

      • June 28 -- Last day to sign-up for Grasslands CRP.
          
      • July 4 ----- Independence Day Holiday.  USDA Service Center Closed.

      • July 15 --- End of primary nesting season for CRP program purposes.

      • July 15 ---- Final certification date to report burley tobacco; cabbage planted through May 31; corn, grain sorghum, hybrid corn seed, spring oats, potatoes, popcorn, sugar beets, tomatoes and other crops. Report perennial forage crops. Report Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acreage.
          
      • July 15 ---- Final Date to Report Production for the preceding Crop Year for Farms Enrolled in ARC-IC.
          
      • July 31 ---- Deadline for producers to submit an offer for re-enrolled land or combination new and re-enrolled land for Continuous CRP Signup 61.

      • August 1 --- Last day to file County Committee Nomination forms.

      • August 1 --- Deadline to Request farm reconstitutions and transfers for 2023.

      • August 15 - Deadline for producers to request enrollment into Transition Incentives Program (TIP).   
           
      • August 31 - Deadline to obtain 2025 NAP coverage for Aquaculture, Christmas trees, Floriculture, Ginseng, Mushrooms, Turf grass Sod and Watercress.    
           
      • September 2 - Labor Day Holiday. USDA Service Center is Closed.
      Ongoing Reminders:
      • ERP 2022 signup continues. The application deadline has not yet been determined and will be announced at a later date. 
      • Reports of Failed Acreage must be filed with the County Office before disposition of the crop.
          
      • Offers for Continuous CRP enrollment are still being accepted (including Scioto and Lake Erie CREP).
          
      • 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.
          
      • Contact FSA right away for notice of loss deadlines and disaster program requirements.
      For more information, contact your local USDA FSA County office.

      Ohio Farm Service Agency State Committee

      Members of the FSA state committee were appointed by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in 2022 and are responsible for the oversight of farm programs and county committee operations, resolving program delivery appeals from the agriculture community, maintaining cooperative relations with industry stakeholders, keeping producers informed about FSA programs and operating in a manner consistent with USDA equal opportunity and civil rights policies.  The individuals appointed to serve on this committee for Ohio are:
          • Committee Chair Theodore Finnarn - Greenville
          • Fred Deel - Vinton
          • Tracy Hundley - Geneva
          • Thomas Jackson, Jr. - Toledo
          • Mark Mechling – Duncan Falls

      Latest FSA News for Ohio