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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 Ohio County FSA office.  

Inflation Reduction Act Section 22007 – Discrimination Financial Assistance Program

The application period is open for a financial assistance program under Section 22007 of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), for farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners who experienced discrimination in USDA farm lending programs prior to January 2021.  The application deadline, originally set for October 31, 2023, has been extended to January 13, 2024.

Borrowers will have the option to apply for assistance online via 22007apply.gov or through a paper-based form. This program is not being administered at Farm Service Agency offices but by private companies with USDA oversight and supervision. Details about the program, including an application and e-filing portal, are available at 22007apply.gov. The website includes an English and Spanish language application that applicants can download or submit via an e-filing portal, information on how to obtain technical assistance in-person or virtually, and additional resources and details about the program.

Applicants can also call the free call center at 1-800-721-0970, or visit one of several dozen brick-and-mortar offices the program has set up around the country. Locations are provided on the program website and vendors will update the local events schedule with more information as it becomes available.

It is important to note that filing an application is free and does not require a lawyer.

If you want to get weekly updates on the program’s events and progress, you can go to https://22007apply.gov, and subscribe to a weekly newsletter.

Ohio FSA Vacancy Announcements

The Preble County, West Alexandria, Ohio; FSA office is looking for a dedicated and talented individual to assist in our mission of partnering with American farmers and producers to attain an economically and environmentally sound future for American agriculture. 
The Loan Analyst position works directly with farmers and landowners.  Provides support and assistance to the Farm Loan Chief, and Farm Loan Specialists, and County Offices that perform a range of lending activities, closing, disbursement, monitoring, liquidating, and servicing of agricultural loans.  

Location Position Open Date Closing Date
Preble County, West Alexandria Loan Analyst 9/25/2023 10/04/2023

This is a full-time, permanent position and a great opportunity for anyone who is interested in working with the farming community to assist farmers and landowners.  These positions also offer several opportunities for advancement within the agency.  These positions offer benefits, including health insurance that can be carried into retirement, 401(k) plan, paid holidays, vacation and sick leave, and flexible work schedules.

Applicants interested in learning more about this position should establish a user profile through www.usajobs.gov.  Profiles offer the opportunity for interested individuals to search for positions by location and/or job titles, upload searchable resumes, and receive automated vacancy announcement updates.

Individuals who are interested in applying for this job opportunity will apply online through USAJOBS website at www.usajobs.gov.  Applicants will enter the appropriate job announcement number below into the keyword search or click on the link below to complete and submit your application. 

Questions? Please contact the Ohio FSA State Office at (614) 255-2522.

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.    

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 is available 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.

USDA Accepting Applications to Help Cover Costs of Organic Producers

FSA will cover up to 75% of the costs associated with organic certification, up to $750 per category, through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP). Ohio FSA encourages organic agricultural producers and handlers to apply for OCCSP by Oct. 31, 2023, for expenses incurred from Oct. 1, 2022, through Sept. 30, 2023.  Ohio producers have until Oct. 31, 2023, to file applications, and FSA will make payments as applications are received.   

To apply, Ohio producers and handlers should contact their local FSA office USDA Service Center. As part of completing the OCCSP application, producers and handlers will need to provide documentation of their organic certification and eligible expenses.   Organic producers and handlers may also apply for OCCSP through participating state departments of agriculture. Additional details can be found on the OCCSP webpage.   

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.

Inflation Reduction Act Assistance for Distressed Borrowers

On August 16, 2022, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into law. Section 22006 of the IRA provided $3.1 billion for USDA to provide relief for distressed borrowers with certain FSA direct and guaranteed loans and to expedite assistance for those whose agricultural operations are at financial risk.   

USDA is implementing this provision with the goals of keeping borrowers farming, removing obstacles that currently prevent many borrowers from returning to their land, and improving the way that USDA approaches borrowing and loan servicing in the long-term.  For many farmers, including those who have been hard hit by pandemic-induced market disruptions exacerbated by more frequent, more intense, climate-driven natural disasters, this assistance is vital if they are to continue producing the food, fiber, and fuel that are essential to the well-being of not only our rural communities but our Nation as a whole. 

More details on each of the categories of assistance, including a downloadable fact sheet, are available on the Inflation Reduction Act webpage on farmers.gov Contact the FSA call center at 877-508-8364 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern. Information related to tax resources, visitfarmers.gov/taxes. For additional information, please see the USDA news release on Oct. 18, 2022, that USDA Provides Payments of nearly $800 Million in Assistance to Help Keep Farmers Farming.

Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing an additional $325 million for 71 projects under the second funding pool of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities effort, bringing the total investment from both funding pools to over $3.1 billion for 141 tentatively selected projects. In September, USDA announced $2.8 billion for 70 tentatively selected projects from the first funding pool, which received over $18 billion in total project requests for projects between $5 million to $100 million.  Learn more at: usda.gov/climate-smart-commodities.

Important Dates to Remember

  • October 9 -------- Columbus Day Holiday.  USDA Service Center is Closed.
  • October 31 ------- Final Date to Apply for Reimbursement through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) for expenses incurred from 10-01-2022 through 09-30-2023.
  • November 6 ----- County committee ballots mailed to voters.
  • November 10 ---- Veterans Day Holiday.  USDA Service Center is Closed.
  • November 20 ---- Last day to apply for coverage for asparagus, blueberries, caneberries, cherries, chestnuts, forage for hay and pasture, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, strawberries, honey, hops and maple syrup.
  • November 23 ---- Thanksgiving Day Holiday.  USDA Service Center is Closed.
  • December 4 ------ Last day to return voted Ballots in county committee election.
  • December 15 ---- Deadline to report the 2024 Fall Seeded Crops for fall barley, fall wheat and all other fall-seeded small grains.
  • December 25 ---- Christmas Day Holiday. USDA Service Center is Closed.

Ongoing Reminders:

  • 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