SCORE Workshops for Beginning Farmers

Three free workshops for beginning farmers will be available in the Omaha area through SCORE, USDA and FSA. The workshops are scheduled August 20, September 10, and September 17. Topics covered in each workshop will be:

  • Marketing/social media;
  • Bookkeeping/accounting;
  • Sales tax and general taxes; and
  • Loan/farm programs.

These programs are focused to help make your farm business more successful. To register, please go to www.omaha.score.org. Please see attached flyer below for more details.

Workshop Flyer 081418

Deadline Changes for NAP Crops

Nebraska’s alfalfa, grass, aronia and grape producers have a new deadline for applying for the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance (NAP).  Nebraska Farm Service Agency revealed the new closing deadlines for some crops covered under this program for the 2019 growing season and beyond. The new deadlines to apply for 2019 coverage are:

  • Alfalfa and mixed forages: October 1, 2018;
  • Grass: November 15, 2018; and
  • Aronia berries and grapes: November 20, 2018.

Producers interested in receiving coverage through this program will need to contact their local FSA Office before the closing dates.

NAP offers coverage for producers who are not able to find insurance to cover crops if there are certain natural disaster affecting their growing season. This program covers certain disasters like hail, wind, drought, flooding and excessive heat among other events. There is a $250 fee per crop with county maximums. Beginning farmers along with traditionally undeserved farmers and ranchers are eligible to have this fee waived. To read more about this program, please read through our detailed article covering the program or contact us with questions.

CRP Enrollment Deadline Friday, August 17, 2018.

Friday, August 17th is the last day to enroll in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). This program is for eligible producers who agree to take sensitive land out of production. In return, the producer will receive an annual rental payment and cost-share assistance for installing practices from the Farm Service Agency (FSA). Land must be eligible and suitable for certain conservation practices which include, but not limited to, riparian buffer, wetland restoration on flood plain, filter strips, and grass waterways. Contracts for this program can last 10-15 years and payments will reflect the updated soil rental rates. For more information, please visit the CRP Continuous Enrollment Period. Or contact your local Farm Service Agency Office.

If you have any questions regarding various programs available from the Farm Service Agency, please send them to us.

Women’s Learning Circle Opportunity

IMG_20180725_201655_062Who: Women non-operator landowners who are working with beginning farmers, and own more than 40 acres, may have inherited farmland, or are feeling overwhelmed with all of the decisions of farmland management.

When: Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, 9 a.m. (to beat the heat!)

Where: West Blue Farm, 146 Co. Rd. 1900, Milford, Nebraska

West Blue Farm has sold direct market fresh meat since 1990, and the operation has recently transitioned to a beginning farmer couple.

Attendees will learn about how to look at areas of risk, learn to communicate with their operators, and will be able to ask questions about the operation. Topics include financial risk management, grazing, and farm diversification.

In addition, attendees have an opportunity to pick up a risk management planning guide and join in a learning circle-style discussion on conservation, land transitions, multi-generational management structures, and long-term business goals.

There is no charge to attend, however registration is requested to make sure we have enough materials and refreshments available. 

August Farm Finance 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:

  • Fairbury – Thursday, August 2nd
  • Grand Island – Thursday, August 2nd
  • North Platte – Thursday, August 9th
  • Lexington, Thursday, August 16th
  • Norfolk – Wednesday, August 22nd
  • Valentine – Thursday, August 23rd

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.

July 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:

  • Grand Island – Thursday, July 5th
  • North Platte – Thursday, July 12th
  • Valentine – Monday, July 16th
  • Lexington – Thursday, July 19th
  • Norfolk – Friday, July 20th
  • Fairbury – Thursday, August 2nd

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.

South Dakota Farm and Ranch Succession and USDA Program Workshops

Two separate free workshops will be offered to farmers and ranchers in western South Dakota. The workshops are from 9am-12pm. These workshops are not limited to Beginning Farmers and Ranchers and are open to the public. To register (and for questions) call the Rural Response Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.

Wednesday, July 11th 2018

Sturgis, South Dakota

Sturgis Community Center

1401 Lazelle Street

Thursday, July 12th 2018

Belle Fourche, South Dakota

First Interstate Bank

41 5th Street

Each workshop will address farm and ranch estate and succession planning, including transfer tools (wills, titling & trusts), incapacity planning, taxes, co-ownership of assets, direct and indirect forms of ownership, legal tools for balancing the interests of on-farm and off-farm heirs, asset protection, and examples of planning.  The workshops will also cover USDA/Farm Service Agency loan programs for beginning and established farmers and ranchers, including direct and guaranteed loans, beginning farmer loans, microloans, and storage facility loans.

These workshops are made available through The Nebraska Network for Beginning Ranchers and Farmers, which includes services in South Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado, and the Farm Law Project of Legal Aid of Nebraska.

Presenters:  Joe Hawbaker, Agricultural Law Attorney with Hawbaker Law Office, Omaha, Nebraska. Amy Swoboda, Farm and Food Attorney with Legal Aid of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska.

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.