News

Fairness in the livestock industry; USDA comment deadline is Feb. 21

In the final hours of the Obama administration, USDA released three rules for public comment that would increase protections for poultry and livestock farmers. Meat processors were quick to decry these new rules, but for you and other supporters of the Center for Rural Affairs who have advocated for these rules for many years, this was an important and long-awaited step forward.

If you don’t raise livestock, though, you might not understand what all the fuss is about, or what these rules aim to solve. Here’s a breakdown.

Beginning Farmers: I want to start farming, is it feasible?

I just graduated college and I want to start farming, is it feasible? What are my options?

This is a time of tremendous opportunity in farming and ranching. Commodity production (undifferentiated crops and livestock sold into “commodity markets”) has minimal profit margin, unpredictable price swings, and many risks for a small, uncapitalized, inexperienced farmer. That type of farming is best entered with substantial farming-family support.

Retiring Farmers: What makes a good successor?

Retirement is when the owner departs from labor and management of the farm business. Retirement may not mean moving away or giving up on mentoring the next generation, but it does entail leaving management decisions to someone else. It can be a gradual or sudden process. It may be driven by long-term goals, health issues or events outside your family.

This conservation funding opportunity may be for you

Farmers and ranchers, there’s a great conservation funding opportunity from the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) that you can take advantage of.

The NRCS is accepting initial applications for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) at its local offices and on its website until Feb. 3. CSP is a national program, tailored at the state and local levels to address regional conservation concerns.

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