Farm Bill News

Corporate farming notes: increased FSA loan limits benefit large operations

Even though farming has become increasingly expensive, from land value to input costs, some farm groups have demanded an increase in Farm Service Agency (FSA) loan limits. Recent farm bill proposals from Congress responded to those demands. However, nearsightedness regarding farm loans can cause more harm than good, as there are pitfalls. These may severely impact those who need FSA farm loans the most: our beginning and historically underserved farmers and ranchers.

We surveyed farmers: conservation is important

Many farmers and ranchers value the opportunity the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) offers to enhance their existing conservation efforts, according to a survey we completed last year. Eighty-seven percent of respondents, all living in an area with a strong agricultural presence, stated CSP should be supported as a priority in the farm bill.

Dear Congress: Please use the farm bill to invest in rural business

We are writing, as grantees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP), to ask you to support $3 million in mandatory funding each year for RMAP in the farm bill. Your investments in rural small businesses today will continue to provide valuable benefits to rural communities across America for years to come.

Senate farm bill, unpacked

The Senate passed its version of the farm bill last week, by a vote of 86 to 11. The bill included a very important improvement with the inclusion of Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) proposals to make farm program payments fairer and close loopholes in the definition of “actively engaged in farming.” Here, we explain where we are with the farm bill and what it means for rural America.

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