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agriculture

March 30, 2021 - 4:23pm

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) held the first official meeting of his Agriculture Advisory Committee on Saturday, March 27th.

"In order for me to craft effective policy and ensure the long-term prosperity of our region's farmers and agribusinesses, it is critical to make sure they have a seat at the table," Jacobs said. "We had a productive introductory meeting and discussed many of the pressing issues facing Western New York agriculture. I look forward to continuing our work together."

"We are very pleased that Congressman Jacobs asked to be appointed to the House Agriculture Committee, and the agricultural community lauds Congressman Jacobs' in recognizing the diverse agriculture businesses in his district," said Maureen Torrey, of Torrey Farms Inc.

"His first meeting of his Agriculture Advisory Committee was a major success as all facets of agriculture from dairy, vegetables, apples, grapes, peaches, poultry, flowers, grain, greenhouse, family farms small and large, and agribusinesses had a chance to share trends and concerns about this major economic driver in his district with him."

"The Agriculture Advisory Committee gives all categories of agriculture a voice and representation in matters that directly impact our lives and our family's lives," said Stacie Rogers, of Rogers Dairy. "We appreciate Congressman Chris Jacobs for caring what that voice is and following through with what he says, I can't wait to continue that partnership and collaboration."

"As a farmer in Western New York, I am honored to be part of Congressman Jacobs' Agriculture Advisory Committee," said Jim Bittner, of Bittner Singer Orchards. "His willingness to serve on the House Agriculture Committee demonstrates his commitment to Western New York and the businesses that are its economic engine. Most recently, he supported the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which will benefit every employee on my farm and those around us.

"Congressman Jacobs has also introduced a bill to allow dairy farms to participate in the H-2A Visa Program. This will have long-term benefits which will preserve our industry. As discussions continue, I appreciate his willingness to learn what is important to those who feed our citizens and how to support it through legislation."

"I believe the first meeting went very well, and I hope that the topics discussed give Rep. Jacobs a better understanding as to how crucial these issues are to agriculture," said Bruce Naas, of Naas Farms LLC. "Labor and infrastructure are just two of many ongoing concerns that affect how we can be competitive in today's global environment. I look forward to our next meeting."

“The Agriculture Advisory Committee is very promising, with participants from every aspect of the ag industry represented across NY-27," said John King, president – Niagara County Farm Bureau. "Congressman Jacobs will have a wealth of knowledge to pull from and very active members of the farming community to look to as a resource.

I look forward to providing the Congressman with updates and concerns that NY-27 farmer members have. I think committee’s like this are critical in regard to connecting our needs with Congress to ensure our family farms are represented appropriately going forward.”

The first meeting of the NY-27 Agriculture Advisory Committee was held virtually, and members discussed a wide range of topics and issues facing Western New York agriculture, including dairy and farm labor needs, trade enforcement, infrastructure and rural broadband development, and vaccine eligibility for farm workforces. Each member also provided a brief overview of their business and the commodities they represent.

The NY-27 Agriculture Advisory Committee is comprised of members from across the eight counties of the New York 27th District and includes stakeholders affiliated with farms, agribusiness, academia, and advocacy organizations. Its members produce a large variety of commodities including dairy, cash crops, vegetables, fruits, maple, and poultry.

March 24, 2021 - 11:30am

Press release:

Join Nancy Glazier with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s NWNY Team for the classroom portion of the Beef Quality Assurance training Wednesday, April 14 from 7-8:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Here's the Facebook page about it.

Glazier, MS, CCA, is part of Cornell extension's Small Farms & Livestock team.

Topics covered include safe handling and use of health care products, safe animal handling, animal welfare and record keeping. Producers will become Level 1 certified with the completion of the class along with submission of required paperwork.

There is no cost for attending the training, but preregistration is required by April 13. Register here.

Producers may become Level 2 certified with the completion of the chute side training and having a valid veterinary client patient relationship form signed by their farm’s veterinarian. Chute side trainings will be held later at various locations. 

 (BQA) is a voluntary program supported by the Beef Checkoff that is focused on training cattle producers in management practices. The training is based on national guidelines and scientific research with the purpose of enhancing carcass quality and safety, thereby protecting the consumer confidence in our beef supply. 

If you have any questions regarding the program, contact Nancy Glazier at: [email protected] or (585) 315-7746.

March 23, 2021 - 4:16pm

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) announces that he has formed an agriculture advisory committee.

“Agriculture is the number one economic sector in our region, and our farmers provide nutritious produce and dairy nationwide,” Jacobs said. “I am proud to represent them on the House Agriculture Committee, and I want to make sure that they have a seat at the table as well.

"This committee serves as a way for me to hear directly from our farmers about their needs and concerns and will allow me to share pertinent information.”

Congressman Jacobs’ Agricultural Advisory Committee is comprised of members who represent all areas of NY-27 agricultural production. The committee is set to have its first official meeting later this month and will meet quarterly. Jacobs is also a member of the House Agriculture Committee for the 117th Congress, serving on three subcommittees.

“Western New York is home to over 4,400 farms," Jacobs said. "This committee ensures the voices of Western New York farmers and agribusinesses are heard and I am able to represent them as best I can. I look forward to working with them."

March 23, 2021 - 8:00am
posted by Press Release in business, agriculture.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA -- A PROCLAMATION

On National Agriculture Day, we recognize the unique and irreplaceable value that farmers, ranchers, foresters, farmworkers, and other agricultural stewards have contributed to our Nation's past and present. America's agriculture sector safeguards our Nation's lands through sustainable management; ensures the health and safety of animals, plants, and people; provides a safe and abundant food supply; and facilitates opportunities for prosperity and economic development in rural America.

Over the last year, workers and other leaders across the agriculture sector have stepped up to ensure a stable food supply in the face of incredible challenges prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Farmworkers, who have always been vital to our food system, continued to grow, harvest, and package food, often at great personal risk.

Local farmers helped to meet their communities' needs by selling food directly to consumers. Small meat processors increased their capacity as demand for their services skyrocketed. Restaurants found creative ways to bring food to members of their communities. Grocers and grocery workers also navigated new models, such as curbside pickup and online sales.

These collective efforts helped get food to the millions of adults and children in America experiencing nutrition insecurity. Programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children; school meals; and others focused on eliminating nutrition insecurity play an integral role in making sure that every family has enough food on the table.

As we overcome the pandemic and build back better, we will advance an agriculture sector that works for everyone. When I took office, I made a commitment alongside Vice President Kamala Harris to put racial equity at the forefront of our Administration's priorities. For generations, Black, Indigenous, and other farmers of color have contributed to sustaining this Nation.

They fed their communities, gave the country new food products, and nourished communities with rich food traditions. Yet for generations they have faced the harmful effects of systemic racism. On this National Agriculture Day, I remain determined to address racial inequity and create an equitable space for all to participate in the great American enterprise of agriculture.

I also made a commitment to tackle the climate crisis. Farmers, ranchers, and foresters play a critical role in combating climate change. From sequestering carbon in the soil to producing renewable energy on farms, we will continue to innovate and create new revenue streams for farmers and ranchers while building a resilient agriculture sector.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., president of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 23 as National Agriculture Day. I call upon all Americans to join me in recognizing and reaffirming our commitment to and appreciation for our country's farmers, ranchers, foresters, farmworkers, and those who work in the agriculture sector across the Nation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-second day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

March 18, 2021 - 2:03pm
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news, agriculture.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) joined with colleagues to ask the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack to uphold agricultural purchase commitments made by China under the Phase One trade deal. 

“American farmers and businesses have been cheated for decades by China’s malign trade practices and efforts to artificially bolster their state-run entities,” Jacobs said. “The Phase One trade deal was critical to supporting American farmers and increasing American exports.”

The Phase One trade deal, signed in January 2020, required China to purchase $200 billion worth of American products, goods, and services. In part, China agreed to purchase $12.5 billion in additional agricultural products above the 2017 trade level in 2020.

Current data shows that the Chinese government failed to meet those 2020 purchasing commitments. If needed, the Phase One trade deal has built-in mechanisms that can be used by the United States government to enforce those commitments.  

“Ensuring China adheres to purchasing agreements is critical to supporting American farmers, especially as they continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Jacobs said. “I urge the Secretary to work with the U.S. Trade Representative to review the Phase One trade deal and implement necessary enforcement measures to hold China accountable.”

March 9, 2021 - 3:54pm

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) introduced legislation that would make the dairy industry eligible for H-2A temporary agricultural visas.

“As I have traveled throughout NY-27 and met with farmers, one thing that has become clear is the need for dairy producers to have access to a steady and legal workforce," Jacobs said. "Currently, dairy workers are not eligible for H-2A status because of the way the current law is interpreted by federal agencies. This simple legislation would fix an urgent need while Congress works on broader reforms to the H-2A program.”

The Dairy H-2A Eligibility Act would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to include “dairy workers” as eligible candidates for H-2A temporary agricultural worker visa status. Employers are currently only eligible for H-2A nonimmigrant classification if they offer a temporary or seasonal position. Though H-2A workers are themselves temporary, dairy production has been interpreted to not qualify for these visas because it occurs year-round.

“Dairy’s workforce crisis is especially severe because dairy farms, which operate year-round, can’t use the H-2A program, which is seasonal," said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of National Milk Producers Federation. "NMPF has fought for decades for H-2A access for dairy. "We thank Congressman Jacobs for stepping up and making ag labor reform a priority issue, and we look forward to continuing to work with Rep. Jacobs to address the workforce needs of dairy farmers in New York and across the country.” 

David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau president, said: "Agricultural labor reform has long been a New York Farm Bureau priority. We must address the seasonal and long-term needs of agriculture, including for the state's dairy farms that currently do not have access to a year-round federal guest worker program. We thank Rep. Jacobs for his efforts to fix a broken system and moving the conversation forward for the betterment of our farms and food system."

“The bottom line is that we need a migrant worker program that respects and enforces our immigration laws while providing farmers with the workforce that they need,” Jacobs said.

March 6, 2021 - 12:55pm
posted by Press Release in business, Sen. Ed Rath, agriculture.

From Sen. Ed Rath, NYS Senate District #61:

Agriculture is such an important aspect of our Upstate communities and supporting our farms is critical. During Legislative Session this week, several agricultural bills came to the floor.

I was happy to cosponsor and support these bills, and for your convenience, I have included information on a few of the bills below. 

Thank you to all our farms who have stepped up during the pandemic and supported our local communities! I am happy to be able to do my part in supporting local agriculture.

S.549 - Relates to the procurement of locally grown farm and food products.

S.2135 - Relates to agricultural custom operators.

S.2199 - Provides for the expansion of regional farmers' markets.

S.3396 - Establishes the New York state animal and plant fiber program to be part of the New York state Grown and Certified Program.

S.4072 - Establishes a one-stop farming hotline with the Cornell cooperative extension.

S.4707 - Relates to establishing a carbon farming tax credit for farmers.

S.4892 - Establishes the Nourish New York program.

March 5, 2021 - 1:36pm
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February 19, 2021 - 2:50pm
posted by Press Release in business, agriculture, 2021 Forage Congress.

Press release:

Due to the ongoing uncertainty related to the coronavirus pandemic, Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Northwest NY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team has decided to transition the 2021 Forage Congress into a virtual conference scheduled for March 11.

The conference will be held using Zoom. Preregistration is required. Cost: $25 per person.

Preregistration is now open on the NWNY Team’s website.  Registration closes March 9.

Topics and Agenda include:

10 - 10:30 a.m. -- The Economic Costs of Loading & Mixing, Jason Karszes, PRO-DAIRY, Cornell University

10:35 - 11:05 a.m. -- Improving Harvest Management, Joe Lawrence, PRO-DAIRY, Cornell University & Tom Kilcer, Advanced Ag Solutions (recording)

11:10 - 11:40 a.m. -- Nutritive Value and Yield of Reduced-Lignin Alfalfa Cultivars in Monoculture & Binary Mixtures with Perennial Grass, Dr. Jerry Cherney, Cornell University

11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. -- Cover Crop Adoption on Dairy Farms, Virginia Moore, Ph.D., Cornell University

Questions, contact: Brandie Waite at: (585) 343-3040, ext. 138.

The Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team is a partnership between Cornell University and the Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations serving dairy, livestock, and field crop farm businesses and supporting industries in these nine Northwest New York counties: Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne and Wyoming.

February 17, 2021 - 2:56pm

Press release:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds rural communities, farmers and ranchers, families and small businesses affected by the recent winter storms that USDA has programs that provide assistance.

USDA staff in the regional, state and county offices are prepared with a variety of program flexibilities and other assistance to residents, agricultural producers and impacted communities.

"USDA is committed to getting help to producers and rural Americans impacted by the severe weather in many parts of the country," said Kevin Shea, acting Secretary of Agriculture.

"As severe weather and natural disasters continue to threaten the livelihoods of thousands of our farming families, we want you and your communities to know that USDA stands with you."

Visit farmers.gov or your local USDA Service Center to inquire about assistance.

Risk Management and Disaster Assistance for Agricultural Operations

USDA offers several risk management and disaster assistance options to help producers recover after they are impacted by severe weather, including those impacted by winter storms and extreme cold.

Even before disasters strike, USDA provides tools for producers to manage their risk through the Federal Crop Insurance Program, a public-private partnership between USDA’s Risk Management Agency and private companies and agents.

For crops that do not have crop insurance available, the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) is available through the local Farm Service Agency. This risk protection includes crop production loss and tree loss for certain crop insurance products. It is recommended that producers reach out to their crop insurance agent or local FSA office for more information.

Producers that signed up for Federal Crop Insurance or NAP who suffer losses are asked to report crop damage to their crop insurance agent or local FSA office, respectively, within 72 hours of damage discovery and follow up in writing within 15 days.

Livestock and perennial crop producers often have more limited risk management options available, so there are several disaster programs for them. Key programs include:

  • The Livestock Indemnity Program and the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybee and Farm-raised Fish Program reimburses producers for a portion of the value of livestock, poultry and other animals that were killed or severely injured by a natural disaster or loss of feed.
  • The Tree Assistance Program provides cost share assistance to rehabilitate or replant and clean-up damage to orchards and vineyards that kill or damage the tree, vines or shrubs. NAP or Federal Crop Insurance often only covers the crop and not the plant.

USDA reminds producers that it’s critical to keep accurate records to document the losses and illnesses following this devastating cold weather event. Livestock producers are advised to document beginning livestock numbers by taking photos or videos of any losses.

Other common documentation options include:

  • Purchase records
  • Production records
  • Vaccination records
  • Bank or other loan documents
  • Third-party certification

Additionally, USDA can provide financial resources through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help with immediate needs and long-term support to help recover from natural disasters and conserve water resources. Assistance may also be available for emergency animal mortality disposal from natural disasters and other causes.

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) also has a variety of loans available including emergency loans that are triggered by disaster declarations and operating loans that can assist producers with credit needs.

February 17, 2021 - 2:11pm

Press release:

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, in collaboration with Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, will be offering a CDL (Commercial Driver License) Training Program for Genesee County agriculture producers and their employees for Class A and Class B licenses.

This training program is designed for producers and farm employees that have some experience with commercial truck operation.

An informational meeting will be held on March 11 at 7 p.m. at the Genesee Valley BOCES Batavia Campus, 8250 State Street Road, Batavia.

This meeting will explain how the program works and answer any questions you may have. The required training materials and medical forms will also be passed out at this time.

Classroom instruction dates (for those who need to get a permit) are March 17 and March 18, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Genesee Valley BOCES Batavia Campus. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will be limiting the permit classroom instruction to 20 people.

Drive time will be scheduled with the instructor at a later date. Class A gets eight hours of drive time (four sessions, two hours each). Class B gets four and a half hours of drive time (three sessions, one and a half hours each).

All COVID-19 protocols, including wearing a mask, will need to be followed in the classroom and while driving.

Registration is required and will be accepted until noon of March 11 or until the class is full. All participants are expected to attend the informational meeting on March 11.

Full payment (check or cash) is due at the class on March 17.

The cost for Class A is $775 and the cost for Class B is $600. DMV fees are not included in the cost of the class.

Make checks payable to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County. If paying in cash, please bring the EXACT amount.

For more information or to register, contact Jan Beglinger at (585) 343-3040, ext. 132.

February 11, 2021 - 12:13pm
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, agriculture, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) released the following statement after the House Committee on Agriculture met today to consider the agriculture portion of the proposed COVID-19 budget reconciliation package. 

"This legislation was crafted unilaterally without any input from the Republican members serving on the Agriculture Committee. While there is some good in the bill, it contains many unrelated, partisan provisions that fail to meet the needs of our farmers and my calls for targeted, bipartisan relief.

"In my district alone, there are over 4,400 farms who produce 22 percent of New York State's total agriculture sales. Western New York farmers supply schools around the country with dairy and supply grocery stores throughout the United States with produce, meat and eggs. The impact of NY-27 farmers on our country is significant, yet we have not held one hearing to assess the current needs of farmers, and my Republican colleagues and I were not consulted. 

“Republicans offered several amendments that would improve this legislation by supporting small producers, restarting the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program halted by the President and redirecting money toward high-speed internet in rural communities. Democrats rejected these amendments, once again refusing to work with us to craft a bipartisan package.

"It is my hope this does not become the norm for this committee for the 117th Congress, but rather we work together to support America’s oldest and most substantial industry."

Jacobs has served on the House Committee on Agriculture since his election in June during the 116th Congress. He was reappointed for the 117th Congress in January of this year.

February 3, 2021 - 4:23pm

Press release:

Due to the ongoing uncertainty related to the coronavirus pandemic, Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Northwest NY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team has decided to transition the 2021 Soybean and Small Grains Congress into a virtual conference scheduled for Feb. 10 and 11.

The conference will be held using Zoom. Preregistration is required. 2.5 DEC Points are available and CCA Credits are also available.

Cost: $45 per person, includes both days. $30 per person, if enrolled in NWNY Team. Preregistration is now open on the NWNY Team’s website, https://nwnyteam.cce.cornell.edu/.

Registration closes Feb. 8.

Topics to be discussed include:

Feb. 10 (10 a.m. - noon) DEC Check-in: 9:30 - 9:55 a.m.

  • 10 - 10:30  a.m.   Soybean Weed Control Updates

                             Michael Hunter, Cornell Cooperative Extension, NNY Team

  • 10:30 - 11 a.m.   Precision Planting Wheat

                              Dennis Pennington, Wheat Systems Specialist, Michigan State University

  • 11 - 11:30 a.m.   How to Grow 140 Bushel Wheat

                             Dwight Bartle, Wheat Producer, Brown City, Michigan

  • 11:30 a.m. - noon   Soybean Cyst Nematode - Tracking and Managing the New Threat to NY Soybean Production

                             Jaime Cummings, NYS IPM Program, Cornell University 

Feb. 11 (10 a.m. - noon) DEC Check-in: 9:30 - 9:55 a.m.

  • 10 - 11 a.m.     Getting Your Best Soybean and Wheat Yields

                             Dr. Shawn Conley, Soybean & Wheat Specialist, University of Wisconsin

  • 11 - 11:30 a.m.    On-farm Soybean Research Networks: What are We Learning?

                             Del Voight, Soybean Specialist, Penn State Extension

  • 11:30 a.m. - noon     NY Small Grains Updates

                             Mike Stanyard, Cornell Cooperative Extension, NWNY Team

To view the full conference agenda and to register online, visit : https://nwnyteam.cce.cornell.edu/  

Questions, contact: Brandie Waite at: (585) 343-3040, ext. 138

The Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team is a partnership between Cornell University and the Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations serving dairy, livestock, and field crop farm businesses and supporting industries in these nine northwest New York counties: Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne and Wyoming.

February 2, 2021 - 3:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news, agriculture, coronavirus, covid-19.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) joined colleagues in calling on the Biden Administration to resume payments for the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).

“Throughout the pandemic, farmers have supported the American people with dedication, despite facing severe hardships as a result of COVID-19," Jacobs said. "The CFAP program has been one of many successful programs developed by the previous administration to ensure American farmers, producers, and processors have access to the resources they need to continue to support the American people.

"The Biden administration’s decision to halt this program is irresponsible given the ongoing pandemic, and many farmers are in urgent need of this assistance.”

The letter signed by 15 representatives specifically calls on the Biden Administration to immediately resume the processing of applications and payments for the second round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) while the new USDA conducts its regulatory review.

The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program was created by the CARES Act of 2020, and the first round was implemented in May. It assists producers of agricultural commodities marketed in 2020 who face continuing market disruptions, reduced farm-level prices and increased production and marketing costs due to COVID-19.

Additional funding for CFAP was appropriated by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, signed into law on Dec. 27th.

“Supporting American farmers is critical to stabilizing the United States’ food supply during the pandemic," Jacobs said. "CFAP has been a key support to farmers and has received bipartisan support in Congress. I urge the Biden administration to immediately resume the processing of applications and payments for this program to provide critical relief to American farmers."

Additional Info: Agriculture.com

February 2, 2021 - 11:22am

Press release:

There are many aspects to consider when starting a livestock farm, such as land, what to sell, and how to sell it. Cornell Cooperative Extension’s specialists Nancy Glazier and Joan Sinclair Petzen are offering a beginning farmer educational series via Zoom beginning 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24; second session is Wednesday, March 10.

The two sessions will cover resource assessment, business planning, basic bookkeeping and budgeting. Time will be available each evening for discussion. Follow-up sessions will be held biweekly if there is enough interest.

The goal of workshops is to provide livestock farms the right tools to get started.  

The cost of the workshops is $20 per person or farm couple. Preregistration is required by Feb. 17. Register online, or by calling Brandie Waite at (585) 343-3040, ext. 138. For workshop questions, please call Nancy Glazier at: (585) 315-7746 or email [email protected].

January 27, 2021 - 12:25pm
posted by Press Release in USDA, covid-19, business, agriculture, Farming, Farm Service Agency.

Due to the national public health emergency caused by coronavirus (COVID-19), the U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the temporary suspension of past-due debt collections and foreclosures for distressed borrowers under the Farm Storage Facility Loan and the Direct Farm Loan programs administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA).

USDA will temporarily suspend non-judicial foreclosures, debt offsets or wage garnishments, and referring foreclosures to the Department of Justice; and USDA will work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to stop judicial foreclosures and evictions on accounts that were previously referred to the Department of Justice.

Additionally, USDA has extended deadlines for producers to respond to loan servicing actions, including loan deferral consideration for financially distressed and delinquent borrowers. In addition, for the Guaranteed Loan program, flexibilities have been made available to lenders to assist in servicing their customers.

Today’s announcement by USDA expands previous actions undertaken by the Department to lessen financial hardship. According to USDA data, more than 12,000 borrowers—approximately 10 percent of all borrowers—are eligible for the relief announced today. Overall, FSA lends to more than 129,000 farmers, ranchers and producers.

“USDA and the Biden Administration are committed to bringing relief and support to farmers, ranchers and producers of all backgrounds and financial status, including by ensuring producers have access to temporary debt relief,” said Robert Bonnie, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary.

“Not only is USDA suspending the pipeline of adverse actions that can lead to foreclosure and debt collection, we are also working with the Departments of Justice and Treasury to suspend any actions already referred to the applicable Agency. Additionally, we are evaluating ways to improve and address farm related debt with the intent to keep farmers on their farms earning living expenses, providing for emergency needs, and maintaining cash flow.”

The temporary suspension is in place until further notice and is expected to continue while the national COVID-19 disaster declaration is in place.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency provides several different loans for producers, which fall under two main categories:

  • Guaranteed loans are made and serviced by commercial lenders, such as banks, the Farm Credit System, credit unions and other nontraditional lenders. FSA guarantees the lender’s loan against loss, up to 95 percent.
  • Direct loans are made and serviced by FSA using funds from the federal government.
The most common loan types are Farm Ownership, Farm Operating, and Farm Storage Facility Loans, with Microloans for each:
  • Farm Ownership: Helps producers purchase or enlarge a farm or ranch, construct a new or improve an existing farm or ranch building, pay closing costs, and pay for soil and water conservation and protection.
  • Farm Operating: Helps producers purchase livestock and equipment and pay for minor real estate repairs and annual operating expenses.
  • Farm Storage Facility Loans are made directly to producers for the construction of cold or dry storage and includes handling equipment and mobile storage such as refrigerated trucks.
  • Microloans: Direct Farm Ownership, Operating Loans, and Farm Storage Facility Loans have a shortened application process and reduced paperwork designed to meet the needs of smaller, nontraditional, and niche-type operations.

Contact FSA

FSA encourages producers to contact their county office to discuss these programs and temporary changes to farm loan deadlines and the loan servicing options available. For Service Center contact information, visit farmers.gov/coronavirus. For servicing information, access farmers.gov.

January 15, 2021 - 11:36am

Press release:

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today issued a statement applauding the Department of Labor’s final rule modernizing the H-2A visa program:

“This final rule streamlining and modernizing the H-2A visa process will go a long way in ensuring American farmers have access to a stable and skilled workforce, all while removing unnecessary bureaucratic processes," Secretary Perdue said.

"USDA’s goal is to help farmers navigate the complex H-2A program that is administered by Department of Labor, Department of Homeland Security, and the State Department so hiring a farm worker is an easier process. These modernizations make the Federal government more responsive to our customers, ensuring American agriculture continues to lead the world for years to come.”

Background

The final rule will streamline the H-2A application process by mandating electronic filing of job orders and applications. These elements are designed to bring the H-2A application process into the digital era, by harnessing the power of the FLAG electronic filing system to share information with other federal agencies like the Department of Homeland Security while also sharing information with the State Workforce systems and domestic farmworkers.

Additionally, the final rule will provide additional flexibilities to cut down on unnecessary burdens on the agricultural employers that use the program. These flexibilities include the ability to stagger the entry of workers into the country over a 120-day period and allowing agricultural employers the flexibility to file a single application for different dates of need instead of multiple applications. 

December 18, 2020 - 3:27pm

Submitted photo and press release:

When Lindsay Juliano from the American Dairy Association North East contacted Jim Tyx, Food Service director for Pembroke schools, he was surprised and thrilled to hear the news that she had to share.

Reyncrest Dairy Farm in Corfu was selected as a 2020 Dairying for Tomorrow Award Winner. This award recognizes dairy farm families who display a passion for dairying and uses practices that help lead their farm and the industry into the future. 

As part of their recognition as an award recipient, the Reyncrest Dairy Farm chose Pembroke Central School to receive a donation of one milk barrel and two insulated bags, a $500 value. 

“We are honored that the farm chose our local school to receive this gift,” said Jim Tyx, Food Service director for Pembroke and Alexander central schools.  

Kelly Reynolds, of Reyncrest Farms, noted, “We are so excited that the students at Pembroke Schools have more access to milk and dairy products and are able to enjoy a cold serving of dairy thanks to American Dairy Association Northeast and the Dairying for Tomorrow awards!

"Our family works hard to provide the best care possible for our cows so that our community can enjoy these products.”

According to the American Dairy Association of the Northeast’s website, the Dairying for Tomorrow Awards, sponsored by American Dairy Association North East, are designed to recognize local dairy farmers and showcase the unique actions they take, on and off the farm, to help sustain and improve the dairy industry.

Genesee Valley BOCES operates a Regional Food Service, a program that 21 area school districts subscribe to. Pembroke Central School District is one of them.

Photo: Green shirt on left, Julie Phelps; pink shirt, Lynn Dilimone; gray shirt cutting the ribbon, Heather Starzynski; gray shirt holding check, Brittany Schafer; pink shirt on the right, Sara langewicz.

December 11, 2020 - 12:04pm

Press release:

After first raising concerns about Canada’s allocation of tariff-rate quotas for U.S. exports of dairy products in June and again in September, U.S. senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand applauded the U.S. Trade Representative’s decision to file a United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement enforcement action against Canada to protect New York’s dairy farmers and ensure fairer market access.

In a statement issued today (Dec. 11) Schumer and Gillibrand said, “Dairy is New York’s primary agricultural product and our dairy farmers are the lifeblood of the Upstate economy. They have been hit especially hard and squeezed by the economic effects of the pandemic, and poor implementation of USMCA provisions by Canada over the past five months will only further hinder their ability to recover from this crisis.

"Yesterday’s filing of the first-ever USMCA enforcement action by the United States to protect New York’s dairy farmers from Canada’s unfair allocation of tariff-rate quotas is a necessary step to ensuring that the Upstate New York dairy industry fully benefits from the agreement’s expanded market access opportunities, unimpeded by unreasonable trade barriers.

"New York’s dairy industry must have Canada fully abide by its USMCA dairy pricing and export policy commitments. We must continue to hold Canada and our other trading partners accountable and ensure equitable trading practices to help New York’s dairy farmers churn up profits that mitigate the huge losses they have suffered this year.”

December 7, 2020 - 2:24pm

Press release:

Due to the ongoing uncertainty related to the Coronavirus pandemic, Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Northwest NY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team has decided to transition the 2021 Corn Congress into a virtual conference scheduled for Jan. 6 and 7.

The conference will be held using Zoom. Preregistration is required. 2.5 DEC Points are available and CCA Credits are also availableCost: $45 per person, includes both days. $30 per person, if enrolled in NWNY Team. Preregistration is now open on the NWNY Team’s website. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

On Thursday, Jan. 7, guest speaker Tony J. Vyn, Ph.D., will present: Tricky Keys to Growing Big Corn.

Vyn is a professor of Agronomy and the Henry A. Wallace Chair in Crop Sciences in the Department of Agronomy at Purdue University. He grew up on a hog and cash crop farm near Chatham in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. He studied at the University of Guelph (in Guelph, Ontario) and was a faculty member at the same university from 1987 until he left for Purdue University in 1998.

Vyn advises several graduate students in research focused on understanding the interactions of tillage, crop rotation, plant density, and (or) nutrient placement systems with the physiology of crop response. His current investigations include corn hybrid and plant density comparisons at multiple N rates to better understand kernel component changes during reproductive growth that will lead to higher yields and higher nutrient recovery efficiencies.

He has evaluated practical management options focusing on tillage comparisons, nutrient banding, and in-season nutrient applications for corn. Tony has enjoyed engaging with farmers and crop consultants plus serving as cochair of the Indiana Crop Adviser Conference since 2003. He and his wife have been blessed with four children who are now living with their respective families in either the United States or Canada.

Additional topics to be discussed by Cornell University researchers include:

  • Pigweed ID Tricks of the Trade: Update on Herbicide Resistance in NY
  • Early Season Seed Corn Pests & Seed Treatments
  • Corn Disease Updates: Identification and Management
  • Turning Yield Data into Action: How Much Yield Do We Give Up on Headlands?
    Importance of Pheromone Trapping for Black Cutworm, Armyworm and Western Bean Cutworm
  • Are Corn Nematodes Robbing Your Corn Yield?

To view the full conference agenda and to register online, visit here.

Questions, contact: Brandie Waite at (585) 343-3040, ext. 138.

The Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team is a partnership between Cornell University and the Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations serving dairy, livestock, and field crop farm businesses and supporting industries in these nine northwest New York counties: Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne and Wyoming.

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