USDA Partners with Texas A&M to Help Veterans Seeking Agriculture Loans and Careers

The United State Department of Agriculture is partnering with Texas A&M. This pilot project will focus on making it easier for veterans to start farming. Here are some highlights of the program:

  • Goal of Program is to make it easier for veterans to meet requirements for loans from the Farm Service Agency (FSA);
  • 15 to 18 veterans will be selected to go through this project;
  • Focus on:
    • Business Planning,
    • Introductory workshops, and
    • Production education;

Veterans interested in this program should gather information and plan to apply. Applications will be open from June 15 and July 20, 2018.

Application are available here.

Full press release if available here.

2018 Veteran Stakeholder Conference in Kansas City, MO, Scholarships Available

The Farmer Veteran Coalition is hosting their 2018 Stakeholder Conference in Kansas City, MO. The conference will be from Wednesday, November 14 to Saturday, November 17 at the Intercontinental Kansas City. Find out more information here.

Scholarships are also available to Farmer veterans interested in attending the conference. The scholarships are available for travel and lodging. Applications are due September 1, 2018. Applications are available here.

This conference will be a wonderful opportunity to learn about resources available and also to network with other veterans interested in farming. Contact the Farmer Veteran Coalition for more information.

June Farm Finance Clinic Dates

Farmers and ranchers are invited to attend a FREE clinic.  The clinics are one-on-one, not group sessions, and are confidential.  The Farm Finance clinic gives you a chance to meet with an experienced Ag law attorney and Ag financial counselor.  These clinic staff specialize in legal and financial issues related to farming and ranching, including financial planning, estate and transition planning, farm loan programs, debtor/creditor law, water rights, and other relevant matters.  Here is an opportunity to obtain an experienced outside opinion on issues that may be affecting your farm or ranch.  Bring your questions!

The FREE farm and ranch clinics will be in these locations:

  • Fairbury – Wednesday, June 6th
  • Grand Island – Thursday, June 7th
  • North Platte – Tuesday, June 12th
  • Lexington – Thursday, June 21st
  • Valentine – Thursday, June 21st
  • Norfolk – Wednesday, June 27th

To sign up for a clinic or for more information, call Michelle at the Nebraska Farm Hotline:  1-800-464-0258.

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture and Legal Aid of Nebraska sponsor the farm finance clinics.

 

Last Day to Register~ Answering the Call Farm Tour

You are invited to join us for the Answering the Call Veteran Farm Tour on Thursday, May 24. This event, hosted by the Center for Rural Affairs and Legal Aid of Nebraska will showcase the farms of veterans who have transitioned from military service to a career in farming. Veterans interested in or currently engaged in farming or ranching or those looking to mentor or transition a farm or ranch to a beginning veteran farmer are encouraged to attend.

Tour stops will include Robinette Farms, Lakehouse Farm and Prairie Plate Restaurant and Barreras Family. The tour will depart from the Sesostris Shrine parking lot at, 1050 Saltillo Road, Roca, NE. The bus will begin loading at 8:30 am, depart promptly at 9 am and return by 4:45 pm.

There is no cost to attend. Transportation to the farm sites and lunch will be provided.

Please register by May 21 at cfra.org/events/AnsweringTheCallFarmTour or call the Center for Rural Affairs at 402.687.2100x 1032.

May 24- Answering the Call: Veteran Farm Tour

You are invited to join us for the Answering the Call Veteran Farm Tour on Thursday, May 24. This event, hosted by the Center for Rural Affairs and Legavfc 300x250l Aid of Nebraska will showcase the farms of veterans who have transitioned from military service to a career in farming. Veterans interested in or currently engaged in farming or ranching or those looking to mentor or transition a farm or ranch to a beginning veteran farmer are encouraged to attend.

Tour stops will include Robinette Farms, Lakehouse Farm and Prairie Plate Restaurant and Barreras Family. The tour will depart from the Sesostris Shrine parking lot at, 1050 Saltillo Road, Roca, NE. The bus will begin loading at 8:30 am, depart promptly at 9 am and return by 4:45 pm.

There is no cost to attend. Transportation to the farm sites and lunch will be provided.

Please register by May 21 at cfra.org/events/AnsweringTheCallFarmTour or call the Center for Rural Affairs at 402.687.2100x 1032.

May Farm and Ranch Financial Clinics

Farmers and ranchers are invited to attend a FREE clinic.  The clinics are one-on-one, not group sessions, and are confidential.  The Farm Finance clinic gives you a chance to meet with an experienced Ag law attorney and Ag financial counselor.  These clinic staff specialize in legal and financial issues related to farming and ranching, including financial planning, estate and transition planning, farm loan programs, debtor/creditor law, water rights, and other relevant matters.  Here is an opportunity to obtain an experienced outside opinion on issues that may be affecting your farm or ranch.  Bring your questions!

The FREE farm and ranch clinics will be in these locations:

Grand Island – Thursday, May 3rd

Norfolk – Tuesday, May 8th

North Platte – Thursday, May 10th

Lexington – Thursday, May 17th

Fairbury – Thursday, May 24th

Norfolk – Tuesday, May 29th

Valentine – Wednesday, May 30th

To sign up for a clinic or for more information, call Michelle at the Nebraska Farm Hotline:  1-800-464-0258.

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture and Legal Aid of Nebraska sponsor the farm finance clinics.

negotiationsLegal Aid of Nebraska

Free Workshop on Farm and Ranch Business Succession & Estate Planning in Harrison, NE, April 26th

You are welcome to attend a free workshop on business succession and estate planning for farm and ranch owners, families and beginners.   The workshop will be held at the Harrison Fire Hall on April 26th.  The workshop runs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  There is no charge for the workshop.  To register (and for questions) call the Rural Response Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.  A lunch will be provided.

The workshop is about farm and ranch business succession and family estate planning.  It will include a discussion of beginning farmer programs that can aid in succession planning.  The workshop should be useful for established farm and ranch owners, for their successors, and for beginners.   Topics include:  stages of succession planning, contribution & compensation, balancing the interests of on-farm and off-farm heirs; the importance of communication, setting goals, assessing feasibility, and balancing intergenerational expectations and needs; beginning farmer loan and tax credit programs; estate planning goals and issues (incapacity, taxes, asset protection, long term care, feasibility); forms of ownership; transfer tools (wills, titling, trusts); succession planning tools and examples (installment sales, lease and ownership options, preemptive rights, use of entities, buy-sell planning). 

Joe Hawbaker, Agricultural Law attorney, with Hawbaker Law Office, Omaha

Dave Goeller, Agricultural Finance and Transition Specialist

This workshop is made possible by the Nebraska Network for Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, the Farm and Ranch Project of Legal Aid of Nebraska, North Central Risk Management Education, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s Next Gen Program, UNL Extension – Panhandle area.  There will be a meal sponsored.

Free Workshop April 25 in Chadron

You are welcome to attend a free workshop on Ag Liens, Loans, and Leases.   The workshop will be held in Chadron, April 25th at Chadron State College Student Center, Scottsbluff Room.  A light dinner will be provided.  The workshop runs from 4:30 pm am to 8:30 pm.  There is no charge for the workshop.  To register (and for questions) call the Rural Response Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.

What the workshop is about?  Liens (Hawbaker) – Nebraska’s statutory agricultural liens, from the producer’s perspective:  What are they?  How do they work? These are liens that give creditors rights in certain property, such as crops, feed and livestock, to secure payment of obligations for goods or services, such as seed, fertilizer, ag chemicals, petroleum products, veterinary assistance, cattle care, harvest work and machine repair.  The discussion will focus on identifying the liens and understanding how they work from the producer’s perspective.

Loans (Goeller) – The presentation will provide producers with an inside look at “What your lender is looking for.”  The impact of Collateral, Cash Flow, Credit Score, Character and Trends on loan applications.  A brief overview of Balance Sheets, Trend Sheets and Ratio Analysis will also be included.

Leases (Goeller) – The importance of lease communications between the landlord and tenant and useful lease provisions will be discussed, along with highlights of current lease rates and trends in Nebraska.

Joe Hawbaker, Agricultural Law attorney, with Hawbaker Law Office, Omaha

Dave Goeller, Agricultural Finance and Transition Specialist

This workshop is made possible by the North Central Risk Management Education, Nebraska Network for Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, the Farm and Ranch Project of Legal Aid of Nebraska, , National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s Next Gen, Nebraska Farmers Union Foundation, UNL Extension – Panhandle area, and Chadron State College.  There will be a meal sponsored.

USDA Decides Not to Impose Additional Regulatory Requirements for Organic Producers and Handlers

Date:
Monday, March 12, 2018 – 11:45am
Contact Info:

WASHINGTON, March 12, 2018 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the decision to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule published on January 19, 2017. The rule would have increased federal regulation of livestock and poultry for certified organic producers and handlers. The withdrawal becomes effective May 13, 2018.

Significant policy and legal issues were identified after the rule published in January 2017. After careful review and two rounds of public comment, USDA has determined that the rule exceeds the Department’s statutory authority, and that the changes to the existing organic regulations could have a negative effect on voluntary participation in the National Organic Program, including real costs for producers and consumers.

“The existing robust organic livestock and poultry regulations are effective,” said USDA Marketing and Regulatory Program Undersecretary Greg Ibach. “The organic industry’s continued growth domestically and globally shows that consumers trust the current approach that balances consumer expectations and the needs of organic producers and handlers.”

According to USDA reports for 2017, the number of certified organic operations increased domestically by seven percent and globally by 11 percent. Industry estimates show that organic sales in the United States reached almost $47 billion in 2016, reflecting an increase of almost $3.7 billion since 2015.

The Department carefully considered public comments and the relative costs and benefits for both producers and consumers of imposing the proposed additional regulations.

More information on the OLPP final rule is available in the March 12, 2018, Federal Register, and on the USDA National Organic Program web page.

Free Estate & Succession Planning Ag Liens and Loans Workshop

You are welcome to attend a free workshop on Succession & Estate Planning (morning sessions) and Ag Liens & Loans (afternoon sessions).   The workshop will be held in Loup City on March 29, 2018 at the Community Center. Lunch will be provided.  The workshop runs from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm.  There is no charge for the workshop.  To register (and for questions) call the Rural Response Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.

What the workshop is about?  Estate & Succession Planning (Hawbaker & Goeller) The workshop is about farm and ranch business succession and estate planning.  The workshop should be useful for established farm and ranch owners, for their successors, and for beginners.   Topics include:  stages of succession planning, contribution & compensation, balancing the interests of on-farm and off-farm heirs, the importance of communication, setting goals,  and assessing feasibility; beginning farmer loan and tax credit programs; estate planning issues and tools, including incapacity planning, taxes, co-ownership, direct and indirect ownership; legal tools for balancing the interests of on-farm and off-farm heirs; asset protection; use of entities; and examples of planning.

Liens (Hawbaker) – Nebraska’s statutory agricultural liens, from the producer’s perspective:  What are they?  How do they work? These are liens that give creditors rights in certain property, such as crops, feed and livestock, to secure payment of obligations for goods or services, such as seed, fertilizer, ag chemicals, petroleum products, veterinary assistance, cattle care, harvest work and machine repair.  The discussion will focus on identifying the liens and understanding how they work from the producer’s perspective.

Loans (Goeller) – The presentation will provide producers with an inside look at “What your lender is looking for.”  The impact of Collateral, Cash Flow, Credit Score, Character and Trends on loan applications.  A brief overview of Balance Sheets, Trend Sheets and Ratio Analysis will also be included.

Joe Hawbaker, Agricultural Law attorney, with Hawbaker Law Office, Omaha

Dave Goeller, Agricultural Finance and Transition Specialist

This workshop is made possible by the North Central Risk Management Education, Nebraska Network for Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, the Farm and Ranch Project of Legal Aid of Nebraska, , National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s Next Gen, Nebraska Farmers Union Foundation, and Nebraska Extension in Central IV.