An important new partnership is preparing agricultural producers for decisions that need to be made soon so farmers can participate in safety-net programs that were created by the 2014 Farm Bill. Congress gave USDA and the Cooperative Extension System a mandate to educate America’s farmers and ranchers to help them prepare for managing their annual risks. USDA’s Farm Service Agency and the Cooperative Extension System teamed up to host joint meetings all over rural America, offering details on the new programs contained in the farm bill. There are more than 2,900 Extension offices throughout the United States, perfect settings at which educational forums could prepare producers for the decisions ahead of them.
“Farm bill outreach and education has been a rigorous exercise for all of us,” said FSA Administrator Val Dolcini as he praised employees and educators on the recent rollout of the Dairy Margin Protection Program, the first of the risk management programs. “In addition to enrolling more than half of the dairy operations around the country, we learned the value of partnership between the nation’s Cooperative Extension System and employees at the Farm Service Agency.” Continue reading