2014 24.3 Tilth Producers Policy Update

Tilth Producers Policy Update

Farm Bill Programs Now Accepting Enrollment

Thank you to everyone who engaged in advocacy efforts over the last Farm Bill cycle. Now that the bill has passed many of the programs we helped fight for are accepting applications for enrollment or funding.

Programs with Open Applications

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) This program offers grants and loans to farmers and rural businesses to support renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Applications for grants due July 7, 2014, loan applications due July 31, 2014

Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) This program, which merges several previous conservation programs, supports partnerships of farm and conservation organizations working with state and federal agencies to deliver conservation assistance to farmers. Pre-proposals due July 14, 2014—farmers will apply once projects are designated

Local Foods, Local Places (LFLP) This new initiative provides technical support to selected rural communities to build support for strong local food systems into their economic action plans. Applications due: July 15, 2014

Ongoing Programs

Business & Industry Guaranteed Loans for Local and Regional Food Enterprises Provides federally guaranteed loans to farm and food enterprises in rural areas and those in urban areas which serve low-income communities.

Farm Storage Facility Loans (FSFL) This loan program provides low interest loans to qualified producers to build or upgrade on-farm storage and handling facilities and has recently been modified to work better for beginning and diversified producers.

Grass-Fed Beef Label for Small Farms A new option for small cattle operations allows those who sell 49 cattle or less per year to certify using the strict grass fed label claim through a less costly application process.

Additional Programs for Future Applications

While the 2014 application period has passed for several programs, it’s worth noting these Farm Bill successes. For more information and future application dates, see sustainableagriculture.net

Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) This new program combines the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), Grassland Reserve Program (GR P), and Farm and Ranch land Program (FR PP) and funds agricultural land and wetland easements.

Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program Provides grant funding for non-profits, educational institutions, and government entities to provide training to beginning farmers.

Crop Protection and Pest Management (CPPM) Provides grants to land-grant institutions to fund research into environmentally sound pest management practices.

Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP) Provides grants to fund direct-to-consumer outlets for local produce as well as local food aggregators and processors.

Risk Management Education Partnership Program Funds non-profits, state agencies, and educational institutions to provide crop insurance education and risk management training.

Rural Cooperative Development Grants (RCDG) These grants are available to non-profits and higher education institutions to provide training in cooperative development.

Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) Provides grants and loans to nonprofits, tribes, and public institutions of higher education to support rural microentrepreneurs and small businesses with training, technical assistance, and business development.

Ariana Taylor-Stanley is Policy Coordinator for Tilth Producers of Washington and also farms with City Grown Seattle. ariana@tilthproducers.org

Tags: Advocacy, Farm Bill, Farm Policy, Food Policy, Grants

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