New programs available for area farmers

Published 9:48 pm Monday, March 21, 2011

New programs and opportunities are available to farmers through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) for new and beginning farmers and farmers with limited resources as well as seasoned farmers.

The meeting will be from 6:30 until 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 30 at the Pike County Extension Office, 306 South Three Notch Street in Troy.

“The USDA is committed to providing outreach services and information regarding NRCS and Farm Service Agency (FSA) programs,” said Rhonda Benton, president of Rhema Ranch in Banks. “These programs are primarily designed to reach limited resource farmers and underserved producers who would not ordinarily have exposure to the programs.”

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A new and beginning farmer is someone who has been farming less that 10 years. “Although Limited Resource Farmers qualify for specific programs based on income, we encourage anyone with an interest in farming as well as farmers who have experienced crop loss for two consecutive years to attend this meeting,’ Benton said. James Currington, Wiregrass RC&D coordinator and Benton will facilitate the meeting. A full presentation and explanation of these programs will be provided.