Farm and Food News

Local FARMS Act feeds rural economies

Last week, the Local Food and Regional Market Supply Act (The Local FARMS Act) was introduced in Congress by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE).

Through an investment in programs and policies that spur economic development, the act prioritizes the development of new markets for farmers and expanded healthy food access for American families.

More education needed on new crop insurance option

For many years, farmers across the country have purchased crop insurance policies as a way to manage the risk of a yield or income loss. Crop insurance has stepped into the spotlight as the highest costing federal farm program, at about $8 billion per year.

Despite the size of the program, crop insurance has not been available for many types of crops. And, often, for certain crops such as fruits, vegetables, or small grains, coverage is available only on a regional basis.

Let’s accurately frame Nebraska’s property tax challenge

Property tax relief and adequate funding for schools and local governments was the topic of a recent community conversation in Nebraska City, hosted by the Center for Rural Affairs. Community leaders and Otoe County residents gathered to discuss property tax challenges facing agricultural land and residential property owners and the radiating impact on schools and local governments.

Farm bill conversations: crop insurance

The Center for Rural Affairs farm bill team has been working hard to make sure you have up-to-date and important farm bill information. Over the past few weeks we have sent out information regarding our farm bill priorities. This week, we’re talking about crop insurance reform and how you can get involved by contacting your representatives.

Here are two things we’d like to see change with crop insurance through the 2018 farm bill:

Apply for value-added producer grants by January 2018, read about success stories

“Creating and marketing value-added products has the potential to significantly enhance our farm's profitability, but this is no easy task. Our value-added funds will help pay for processing, marketing, distribution, and sales of our pasture-raised chickens and eggs, as well as microgreens that we grow,” said Alex McKiernan, co-owner of Robinette Farms near Lincoln, Nebraska. The farm received a working capital grant in 2015.

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