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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.  
  


Ohio Farm Service Agency Announces State Committee

Members of the FSA state committee were recently appointed by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack 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

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.


FSA Launches Loan Assistance Tool (LAT) to Help Farmers and Growers Better Navigate the Farm Loan Application Process

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 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. The tool is built to run on any modern browser like Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or the Safari browser, and is fully functional on mobile devices. It does not work in Internet Explorer.


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.


New Programs to fill gaps in 2020/2021 Natural Disaster Assistance (Emergency Relief Program (ERP) Phase 2) and 2020 Pandemic Assistance (Pandemic Assistance Revenue Program (PARP).    

USDA is announcing two new programs that wrap-up and fill remaining gaps in previous natural disaster and pandemic assistance.  To be eligible for ERP Phase Two, producers must have suffered a decrease in allowable gross revenue in 2020 or 2021 due to necessary expenses related to losses of eligible crops from a qualifying natural disaster event.  Assistance will be primarily to producers of crops that were not covered by Federal Crop Insurance or NAP, since crops covered by Federal Crop Insurance and NAP were included in the assistance under ERP Phase One.  

To be eligible for PARP, an agricultural producer must have been in the business of farming during at least part of the 2020 calendar year and had a 15% or greater decrease in allowable gross revenue for the 2020 calendar year, as compared to a baseline year. 

The ERP Phase 2 and PARP application period is open from January 23, 2023 through June 2, 2023. For more information, producers should contact their local USDA service center or reference the ERP Phase Two Fact Sheet, PARP Fact Sheet or the ERP Phase Two-PARP Comparison Fact Sheet.    

Producers are encouraged to begin gathering supporting documentation including:  

  • Schedule F (Form 1040); and 
  • Profit or Loss from Farming or similar tax documents for tax years 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 for ERP and for calendar years 2018, 2019 and 2020 for PARP.  

Producers should also have, or be prepared to have, the following forms on file for both ERP and PARP program participation:  

  • Form AD-2047, Customer Data Worksheet (as applicable to the program participant);  
  • Form CCC-902, Farm Operating Plan for an individual or legal entity; 
  • Form CCC-901, Member Information for Legal Entities (if applicable); and  
  • Form AD-1026, Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) Certification.  

For more information on ERP or PARP, producers can visit FSA’s Emergency Relief webpage, or visit Pandemic Assistance Revenue Program (PARP) webpage. 


Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) Program Extended to Jan. 31, 2023, Last Day Dairy Producers Can Enroll for 2023 Signup

Dairy producers can now enroll for 2023 coverage through the DMC Program, an important safety net program that helps producers manage changes in milk and feed prices. Last year, FSA took steps to improve coverage, especially for small and mid-sized dairies, including offering a new Supplemental DMC program and updating its feed cost formula to better address retroactive, current and future feed costs. These changes continue to support producers through this year’s signup.  Signup for DMC runs to Jan, 31, 2023.

DMC offers different levels of coverage, even an option that is free to producers, aside from a $100 administrative fee. Limited resource, beginning, socially disadvantaged or a military veteran farmers or ranchers are exempt from paying the administrative fee, if requested. To determine the appropriate level of DMC coverage for a specific dairy operation, producers can use the online dairy decision tool. For more information on DMC, visit the DMC webpage or contact your County FSA 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 now 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.


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. 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

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.


The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) is hiring for Full-Time Permanent County Program Technician positions across Ohio.

The Seven Hills, Ohio, FSA office is located in Cleveland, Ohio.  FSA 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.

This is a full-time, permanent position and a great opportunity for anyone who is interested in working with the agricultural community to assist farmers and landowners.  This position also offers several opportunities for advancement within the agency.  FSA employees administer farm commodity, disaster, and conservation programs for farmers and makes and guarantees farm emergency, ownership, and operating loans through a network of State and county offices. 

The County Program Technician works directly with urban and suburban farmers who cultivate, process, and distribute agricultural products in urban and suburban settings, including things like vertical production, warehouse farms, community gardens, rooftop farms, hydroponic, aeroponic, and aquaponic facilities, and other innovations.

This position is responsible for carrying out office activities and functions pertaining to the program areas administered by FSA.  Various types of computer systems are utilized to maintain producer data and process program forms and information.  Basic requirements include general office clerical work, record keeping, computer skills, organizational skills, and good public relations skills.

FSA is seeking candidates with farming experience and/or knowledge to perform work in support of Ohio's urban agriculture.  This position offers benefits, including health insurance that can be carried into retirement, 401(k) plan, paid holidays, vacation and sick leave, and flexible work schedules. 

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. 

The Urban Agriculture County Program Technician vacancy is being advertised under Job Announcement Number: URAG-11741964-23-OH-KW.  This announcement is open until December 5, 2022.  Apply by visiting this link, USAJOBS - Job Announcement, https://www.usajobs.gov/job/690771400.  

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. 

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


Important Dates to Remember

  • January 16 ------- Martin Luther King Jr. Day Holiday. USDA Service Center is Closed.
  • January 17 ------- Deadline to report apples and grapes to FSA.
  • January 30 ------- 2022 Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) including water hauling and hay/feed transportation. Application for Payment Deadline for timely filed 2022 ELAP notices of losses.
  • January 30 ------- Deadline for the 2022 Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) Application and all supporting documentation.
  • January 31 ------- Deadline on 2022 LDPs for wool and unshorn lamb pelts. 
  • January 31 ------- The Food Safety Certification for Specialty Crops (FSCSC) application deadline for 2022.  FSCSC assists specialty crop operations that incurred eligible on-farm food safety certification and related expenses related to obtaining or renewing a food safety certification in calendar years 2022 and 2023.  NOTE: The FSCSC application period for 2023 will be announced at a later date.
  • January 31  ------ Last day for Dairy producers to enroll for 2023 coverage through the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) Program as well as get additional assistance through the Supplemental DMC.
  • February 20 ------ President's Day Holiday. USDA Service Center is Closed.
  • March 1 ----------- Primary Nesting Season begins.
  • March 1 ----------- Deadline for the 2022 Livestock Indemnity Program Application for Payment and all supporting documentation for timely filed 2022 LIP notices of livestock losses.
  • March 15 --------- Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) election and enrollment application deadline for 2023 crop season.
  • March 15 --------- Deadline to obtain 2023 NAP coverage on spring planted crops.
  • March 15 -------- Deadline to purchase NAP coverage for hemp. NAP will be available for 2023 to provide insurance-type coverage due to adverse weather conditions. NAP provides coverage against loss for hemp grown for fiber, grain, seed, or cannabidiol (CBD) for the 2023 crop year where no permanent federal crop insurance program is available.
  • March 31 --------- Final Availability for 2022 crop wheat, barley, oats, honey loans and LDPs.

Ongoing

  • 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.


COVID-19 and FSA: All Service Centers Open to In-Person Traffic

All USDA Service Centers in Ohio are open to in-person, walk-in traffic. Appointments are no longer required, although they are still encouraged when possible so staff can be most effective with your time. In addition, Service Center staff in all offices will continue to offer customers options for service using virtual/online meetings, email and other digital tools, as appropriate. Local office status could return to "by appointment only," depending on weekly COVID case information. Call your local office for additional information. To find your office contact information, visit USDA FSA County office