USA and CoronaVirus Food Assistance Programs Info Session

Mar 8, 2021 23:40 · 15591 words · 74 minute read

All right everyone again welcome to the USDA information session with Virginia state university small farm outreach program my name is Michael carter Jr I work with Virginia state university small from outreach program small farm outreach center. Our research center resource center and today we’re excited to have our various agencies from the USDA to share with us the various programs they have for the new COVID reality as well as other programs that they still have existence where before the COVID crisis hit.

I’m going to take the time to allow them to share, you ask your questions later on. I think most of us have been in a lot of zoom meetings so we have to practice good zoom etiquette. So if you can keep your phones or your computers on mute, we will save questions and answers until the end, if you have questions that you want to put in the chat we will go in the chat and you’re going to read those at the end of the session as well. We have four agencies, five agencies, representing and sharing with us today without further ado, Diane Lenoir Giles to share with us welcome us.

01:22 - Good afternoon I want to welcome you to this first USDA virtual session in the southwestern part of the state. On the behalf of the state executive director for the farm service agency. We welcome you, today we could make a great team having trust, respect, and understanding the programs of each agency USDA mission is to help our customers become successful. As I welcome you today, continue to be with you most of the days we will be talking giving out information on our agencies be safe and stay healthy.

At this time, I would like to turn the session over to Michael Carter Jr VSU small resource center coordinator. Again, welcome.

02:31 - Again with our question and answers, we want to make sure that… you have questions, please type them in and I’ll request to any USDA officials maybe to answer those questions possibly engaging those who are writing questions in the chat. Make things go along smoothly and we have a lot of experts on the call today who can answer a lot of those questions. Yes, I’ll bring on Mr. brent noell from Virginia State University small farm outreach program as well.

Covering the south side of the south west part of Virginia and a former USDA official as well mr noell. Thank you Mike. . Michael I don’t have a whole lot to say, I just want everybody to know that my territory starts at Roanoke goes west to the land with Grayson county line. I am part of the small farm outreach program. Virginia State is part of Virginia cooperative extension in case anybody didn’t know that, we are here to assist the cooperative extension.

I know in our part of the state Virginia has been synonymous with extension but Virginia State is part of that and we are concentrating on minority producers small and beginning farmers and if anybody has any questions please give us a call. We’re now getting our business cards so. Amanda Fletcher goes from my territory west, I think she goes from Smith county to Lee county and we’re in the process of getting our business cards. So we should have our contact information out there soon, thank you.

04:20 - Thank you very much Our first presentation will be from the USDA rural development office. Thank you Michael all right, sorry no, I was just thanking you. I’m gonna jump in here real quick, I’m Beth Green I’m the director for Virginia for USDA rural development and thank you all so much for being on this today and for all of you putting this together, we appreciate it. I just got announced yesterday I have a new role coming on for the next few months that I will be the USDA rural development acting administrator of the rural housing service.

So excited about that, and again, we appreciate all of you joining us today we have a lot of great information to share with you and appreciate your time. So at this point, I’m going to turn it over to Mr. Joe Boatwright who is a specialist with our rural business program. Thank you Beth, and I appreciate it. Today we’re going to talk about three main programs that rural development can assist in aiding farmers and Michael, you’re going to switch the slides correct ? yeah.

Just say go to the next line and we’ll get that done for you. Okay just go to the next slide please. Our USDA mission area, next slide, is uh rural development has three different branches. Has rural business services, rural housing service, and the rural facility service. Today we’ll be talking about the rural business services, next slide please, this is our contact email and for files or anything if anybody needs it. Next slide please, and the B&I cares act program is the main thing we’re going to discuss today, next slide, and the agenda for the cares act is going to be to overview the cares act application processes resources and to wrap up, next slide please, and the B&I regular program that we assist is for helping rural businesses with populations of less than 50,000 people who purchase land, equipment, building, machinery, for working capital the B&I’s cares act, what we’re going to do, is to help people who have been in business since February 15, 2020 to deal with this pandemic, the corona virus and it’s an extension of our working capital loan and the loans are only for working capital, next slide please.

07:15 - The eligible borrowers will include for-profit businesses, non-profits, cooperatives, federal recognized tribes, public bodies and for this cares act for this agricultural producer, next slide please.

07:36 - The pre-approved lenders include federal or state chartered banks, savings and loans, farm credit banks, and credit unions next slide please.

07:49 - and we’ll go through the overview, next please This year we were appropriated one billion dollars in guaranteed lending approval and it is through September 30th 2021 fiscal year, next slide and the benefits of this program are to help businesses which include working capitalized for payroll cost, health care benefits, salaries, principal and interest payments, rent/leases, utilities, inventory, and supply. The bank gets a 90% guaranteed loan on any loss, if they would incur any and we charge the lender a 2% fee to be able to get this guarantee from us.

This new eligible purpose is, like I stated, it expands to include ag production. Their normal working capital loans are only for seven years and this has been a special purpose we have extended it to a 10-year loan with a deferral of principal point interest for the first year and principal only for the next two years and a loan will be paid off in 10 years. There is capital and equity requirements it has to be secured collateral discounting for the lender, is not required though like in a regular program and the maximum loan amount that we can make to any one borrower is 25 million dollars next loan, next slide please.

09:33 - like I said eligible loan purposes include payroll cost, health care benefits, salaries, principal, interest payments, rents leases, inventory, and agriculture there could be some inputs to the operation and supplies, next slide please.

09:56 - Oh like I said, it was a 90% guarantee with a 2% fee and we also charge the lender a half a percent servicing fee based on the outstanding principal at the end of the year December 31st, every year that they pay to keep the guarantee in place, next slide please, agriculture producers are eligible with some conditions and the B&I cares act program borrowers must have been in operation as of April 15th, 2020 and their normal program we consider an existing business they have to be in operation for over a year or but in this as long as you were in business as of February 15th you are eligible for these funds.

Next slide please. Loan must cover costs that to prevent prepare respond to the coronavirus pandemic loans for working capital support agricultural production including independent agricultural production are eligible if the applicant’s loan request meets the farm service agency guaranteed loan authority or the applicant’s request is otherwise ineligible for an FSA loan. Next slide.

11:25 - Wages salaries of employees health care administrative expenses property insurance hazard insurance and other business insurance are eligible principal and entrance payments on existing loans during the pandemic recovery including any owner stockholder debt or related party debts review payments on leases and routine maintenance for eligible purposes. Next. Taxes and utility, business inventory, ag production expenses including inventory feed seed fertilizer chemicals livestock excluding livestock for breeding and supplies marketing shipping and other expenses incurred through normal business operations or such additional expenses due to the national virus health emergency and you can also include your loan cost and your essential loan related expenses.

Next slide. Ineligible purposes or any type of business acquisition purchases of land building equipment construction and other capital expenses or refinance refinancing of debt unless such debt refinancing is for debts incurred during subsequent February 15th, 2020 for eligible purpose ineligible purposes in any entity type. Next slide please.

13:10 - Maximum loan amounts for any one person is 25 million dollars I want any one borrower and loans shall be based on cash flow analysis and must not be greater than the amount needed to cure the problems caused by the COVID 19 emergency that the business is re-established on a successful basis. Next slide please.

13:40 - The maximum loan amount of the B&I cares act program for working capital purpose may not exceed 12 times the farmer’s total operational monthly cost of eligible working capital loan purposes less the total amount of the SBA PPP loans or other federal agency assistance received borrowers receiving B&I cares act program loan funds and the amount less than the maximum of the $25 million eligible loan amount in accordance with the above paragraph may apply for subsequent loads as long as this section does not exceed the maximum loan amount.

Next slide please. So this sort of breaks it out and just in a nutshell on the right hand side the example is borrower has a monthly operational cost of a hundred thousand dollars and they receive $250,000 from SBA for the PPP loan program they would be eligible for technically $950,000 dollars of cares act money. Next slide please. Multiple draws required so when you apply for this line it’s not going to be one disbursement it’ll be you will provide invoices to the bank when you need money and they will disperse the money according to your invoices for tracking purposes there’s a 10-year maximum loan it’s up to one year principle and interest deferral and extended principal deferrals for the next two years.

Next slide please. Loans must be adequately secured collateral by the lender is not required for B&I cares act programs for working capital purposes collateral discounting I better say in other words we don’t take a reduced value is one to one the value of collateral must be equal to or greater than the amount of the loan. Next slide please.

16:04 - Appraisals of real estate and chattel collateral are required when the amount of the loan exceeds a million dollars unless the chattel is newly acquired equipment and the value is supported by a bill of sale that means if there’s anything under a million dollars whatever the lender usually does to determine the value we will accept they use the assessed value or whatever we will accept the agency will accept appraisals older than one year but completely within two years and lenders may provide an updated appraisal in lieu of getting a brand new completed appraisal when the original appraisal is more than two years old and we do not require an interior inspection of a collateral under these circumstances.

Next slide please. Capital and equity requirements there is a 10 percent balance sheet equity not tangible balance sheet like in our normal program that this 10 percent tangible balance sheet equity balanced equity that includes owner contributed capital of 10 percent or more of total fixed assets the business must invest other funds into the project equal to 10 percent or more of eligible project costs if need be. Next slide please.

17:44 - This is just the examples of the contributions to the slide before, so we’re going to skip three slides.

17:56 - Michael, next slide. Next slide. Next slide.

18:11 - Next slide. Okay, loans for working capital are classified as category exclusion for purposes of the agency’s environmental requirements USDA has to do an equal environmental review on all of their loans if there was real estate or whatever since this is working capital what this is a category exclusions it’s a quick process it’s done in-house to so we should should not lessen the process of loan making a draft loan agreement is not required at the time of application a business plan or feasibility value is not required lender may substitute rely on borrowers tax returns when the financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP are not available from the borrower ag producers financial records must meet the industry standards of accounting practices and we have a shorter application for loans requests under $600,000 dollars for the lender if they choose to use it.

Next slide please. Applications are received and processed in Richmond at the state office funds will be maintained in our national reserve account the agency will consider applications in the order they are received for the end of the funding period the agency will assign priority points for the limited remaining funds and for the purpose of the agency will compare an application to others to be funded. So in other words it’s usually based on population unemployment and different criteria what the score is if funds get tight we’ll score them right now we have plenty of money so the process should not be altered in any way.

20:12 - Next slide please. The aggregate total amount of the loans for agricultural production initially be limited to 50 percent of the total program level of the cares act that they came up with in DC for agricultural production they have $475,500,000 for this program to be used for ag producers the agency may publish future notice in the register revising the limitations of the amount of funds made available for loans and agricultural production to align with demand for these loans.

Next slide please. A lender or borrower may combine applications for a B&I cares act program for loan making capital with an application for standard B&I using appropriated fiscal year funds the provision of the B&I cares act program section do not apply to applications for B&I appropriated physical year funds. Next slide please.

21:30 - Next slide please. Here are our regulation links notice of funding in our websites for your information. Next slide please and this is our state office website and our national office contacts for this program and next slide please and this is my email address and also my phone number and we will answer any questions that you have just email me. If you’d like a copy of this presentation I will be glad to email it to you we’ll send you fact sheets for the program that’s reason we have the email address and the phone number and thank you Mike we are done.

22:31 - Thank you Joe. Very good. All right next up, we have farm service agency FSA and Ms. Tammy Goodyear will share with us some of the programs with FSA. Ms. Goodyear? Thank you, I’m always glad to speak about farm service agency programs because I think we have a very diverse amount of programs and we are likely to have some type of program for most farmers producers whether large or small it does not matter because we’re our programs are designed to serve all farmers and help fulfill the needs of these farmers and producers.

Next slide What is the farm service agency? The farm service agency is just that a service agency and we implement programs that are part of and approved through the farm bill currently we’re working under the 2018 farm bill and administering any programs that were passed in that farm bill.

24:14 - Next slide, if you’re new to the farm service agency there’s some information that we need to get you started this information is important in that we need to know how to contact you. When we’re advertising programs you know we send out a monthly newsletter so we do that by email now and and by having this information it allows us to contact you and make sure you’re aware of the programs that are going on you can see on there that we ask for a survey plat or deed for own land that you own that gives us the opportunity to get that form set up in your name.

Whether you be an individual farmer or an entity if you are an entity you need to bring in your entity organizational document that shows you know who is the members and their shares and who has signature authority for it we also want you to give us or let us know any land that you’re leasing that you’re farming yourself or land that you own and you’re listening to someone else because there again it all goes back to good records and by knowing this we’re able to provide people the benefits that they’d be eligible for affiliated owners and operators that’s anybody who is just like it says affiliated to your farming operation they may not be drawing any benefits but they still have to be in compliance with conservation plans on the farm so and that’s just good farming doing that we ask that you when you come in we try and talk to you about your farming operations and goals like you know what what kind of farming do you do if you’ve got livestock do you have cattle sheep goats what kind of field crops are you growing or vegetables that way we can gear the programs that you would be interested in and eligible to participate towards you.

Next slide As you can see the farms the farm service agency has a great number of programs that’s available to farmers I’m going to just lightly touch over some of these programs arc/plc, that’s a grain program for like corn soybeans oats that sort of thing. You sign up a year in advance and if the market price falls below the target price that is set by the government then you may draw a payment farm storage farm loans that is a really good program a lot of popularity in it right now.

28:09 - This is a loan and it can go from seven to fifteen years and the interest rates are very low at this time and this program is designed to to build storage for whatever crops you may be growing on the farm that crops vegetables we can do cold storage for fruits cold storage milk, butter, meat, unprocessed it’s a whole list of things if you’re interested in that loan elap that is our program where we have payments due to losses that are weather related we have them for livestock fish honeybees in this county the honeybees is one of the more popular programs under elap where farmers lose their bees due to inclement weather or colony collapse disorder and we’re seeing more and more producers participate in that program marketing assistant loans and loan deficiency payments that’s on grain crops that are growing.

30:02 - that’s a program for wildfires hurricane losses were covered in 2018 and 19. We do have have had several people qualify under that program.

30:24 - We’ve had disaster designations where we did have problems from hurricanes too much water the wrong time winds lip is for livestock indemnity program where you lose livestock here again due to weather related losses tap tree assistance program and then of course the dairy marketing program you know that’s been a big help to these dairy farms where the price of milk is has been so low to participate any programs you have to meet our eligibility requirements be in compliance with the farm bill that’s very important to to receive USDA benefits payment limitations acreage reporting I’ve touched on disaster destinations which you know made farmers in several counties eligible to participate in the whip program I always tell producers.

31:43 - Your benefits are based on accurate reporting and I cannot stress enough how important acreage reports are because that is the backbone of your benefits whether it be for a disaster program like nap the non-insured assistance program.

32:08 - We need an accurate acreage report and you might think that it’s not important to participate but when you have a disaster and I’ve seen it many times farmers you know who have never participated come in they go well I lost all my crop well if they’ve been in like the nap program and reporting their acreage you know they may have been eligible for assistance under these losses you need to be proactive and not reactive in cases with this so you know that’s why you know earlier when I was talking about rented farms and land you own it’s very important that you keep the farm service agency updated because your acreage report your land that is truly the backbone for us to serve you to the best of our ability and make sure that you can participate in the programs that are offered through our agency.

33:25 - Next. Our conservation programs I think we have some really good conservation programs and I’m going to touch on the conservation reserve program the crp grasslands and crep and some on the ecp the conservation reserve program we have general sign ups under that and you can submit an offer and based on the environmental benefits you may your land may or may not be accepted into that program the same thing on the crp grasslands we just finished a sign up on that and we’re notified of farms who were accepted in the program but if you’re interested in those watch for sign up announcements and you know you can go to your FSA office and talk with them and they can work with you on submitting an application during one of these announced sign ups now crep the conservation reserve enhancement program it is a sign up that is continuous.

34:59 - Our fiscal year runs from October 1st to September 30th we’ve got several crep contracts that that are expiring that can re-enroll we’re working on that and plus we’ve got several programs several crep contract new contracts and the whole goal of this program is it has two components a crop a cropped field component and a livestock component under the fields you that you’re cropping you can do a buffer and plant warm season grasses and receive cost share and an annual rental payment for 10 to 15 years this is a non-competitive program so if your land meets the criteria and you meet the eligibility requirements you will be accepted into the program now in this end of the state we do more for the livestock this is where if you’ve got stream your cattle are watering from the stream you can fence them out with a 35 foot buffer you can do grasslands in it or a mix tree mixed hardwood tree buffer it it’s really a good program and in return for fencing livestock out of these streams FSA will cost share up to not establish cost on fencing developing a watering system we can drill a well if needed do watering troughs we like to do those frost proof waterers for the livestock we help pay on the pipeline and planting the trees of course also we cost share on it and I have to say I’ve been employed with the agency for 33 years and I’m a firm believer in this crep program I think it’s one of the best conservation programs that I’ve seen and then you know if you’re you go into the program here again it’s non-competitive on the livestock and if you meet the criteria your land meets it then you know you can go into it it’s a voluntary participation and you can choose to go in for 10 or 15 years and you will draw an annual rental payment on the land that is set aside in the buffer so that’s something I really encourage farmers to take a look at the next two I want to mention is the ECP and emergency forestry program we haven’t had a lot of the emergency forestry program but ECP we’ve had quite a bit of that because we have had it covers tornadoes hurricanes flooding drought we in this county especially we have used ECP several times in the years where flooding has destroyed land and we can go in and cost share on it to help restore the land back to farmable condition if it takes out fences that’s holding your livestock in we can call share to to put the fences back in place so it’s been a very helpful program and it’s something you know now that one’s not automatic the county has to the county FSA office will have to apply for that program as well as the emergency forestry program but they they’re very helpful when farmers are in need.

Next slide. The coronavirus food assistance program or CFAP this has been a has had an overwhelming response it’s there are three components to it and one is for specialty crops one is for what we call non-specialty crops like your corn wheat soybeans and then there’s a component to it for livestock I’m going to start with the specialty crops it covers a wide variety of crops everything from almonds apples peaches beans to watermelons walnuts it’s quite a list there to be eligible under the uh specialty crops the applicable crop loss had to occur between January 15th and April 15th and you had to have at least a 5 percent reduction in the sales price also if you had crops that left the farm by the April 15th deadline and they spoiled due to no market that’s also eligible and another component there any crops that did not leave the farm by April 15th they can be eligible for a payment because the loss would have had to be in no market for the crops so I think of in this area you know most of the crops like the cabbage, apples, peaches, they would not have been being sold during that time of January 15th through April 15th.

42:25 - eligible because it covered lettuce mushrooms some crops like that that are early during that period that’s something they can take a look at and see if they’d be eligible for non specialty crops like the corn soybeans wheat here again when the producer comes in they have to know their total production for 2019 and the commodity that they’re applying for must have suffered a 5 percent or greater loss so during that period that they had it you know if they they suffered that loss they can qualify but if they had it on hand and it was not sold as of January 15th then they can still apply because they probably held it off the market because of the price drop so there’s several different commodities covered there and the best thing they could do is you know go by your office and talk to them the most popular program we’ve seen seen in this end of the state has been the CFAP for the livestock producers and that covers hogs cattle and sheep there’s two components to this program first is livestock by species in class that was sold between January 15th to April 15th and the second component is the highest inventory of eligible livestock again by species in class that you had on your farm between April 16th and May 14th we break them down into feeder cattle less than 600 pounds feeder cattle above 600 slaughter cattle fed cattle mature cattle and all other cattle which is you know like your cows that you got on the farm and used for breeding now on sheep it covered lambs and yearlings in this time frame that were less than two years of age hogs they had to be less than 120 pounds or hogs 120 pounds or more you’re looking at your slaughter animals there this sign up goes from May the sign up will end on August 28th it started on May 26th and if you know anybody that’s eligible you know give them a heads up these programs are available and they need to visit their local FSA office if they can’t any FSA office can take an application for another county office so you know they don’t necessarily out of pocket you know they can go someplace else and sign up so but they need to call the county office and make appointments okay.

Next slide. GovDelivery and text message alerts GovDelivery is our way of communication now and it allows for individuals to subscribe and receive emails about our programs and services and that is your best way of keeping updated on information and program sign up you can sign up at your local county office or you can go online at the address listed there it’s very easy to do if you want to do text alerts you can do that also you can subscribe by sending a text message just type in 372669 and in the body of the message like for Patrick it would be VA Patrick or another county VA Williams VA Botetourt put that in and you’ll get a message back telling you that you were successful in enrolling in this program GovDelivery you know most people a lot of people now are using computers and cell service to do their information on and this is just a quick easy way to be to have this information at your fingertips at any time so we do encourage you to sign up both for the GovDelivery account to receive our newsletters and also sign up for the text alerts.

48:47 - Next slide Well this completes my presentation today I’m Tammy Goodyear I’m a director in the Patrick county office you’ve got my information there if you have any questions feel free to call me or email me I will be glad to work with you and if I can’t help you I’m going to get you directed to someone that can. Thank you for your time Thank you Next we have Ron Kraszewski manager of Pittsylvania county, Ron ? All right thank you Michael All right Tammy had just spoken to you about the farm programs and I’m going to talk to you about the farm loan programs and our farm financing options are we have for historically underserved the beginning farmers to USDA farm services, next slide please so who is FSA? FSA is an agency within USDA farm loan programs can provide credit to agriculture producers who are unable to obtain private commercial credit FSA places special emphasis on providing loans to historically underserved and beginning farmers as it says there that one of the keys is unable to obtain private commercial credit because we get a lot of inquiries from the general public as far as if they can get can get credit elsewhere unfortunately we can’t help you but that is one of the basic eligibility, next please historically underserved social disadvantaged group is a group whose members have been see I guess are you slides changed here on me okay it’s a group whose members have been subject to racial ethnic or gender prejudice because of their identity as a member of the group without regard to their individual qualities those groups are such as American Indians, Alaskan, Natives Asians, Black African Americans, Native Hawaiians, pacific islanders, Hispanics and women socially disadvantaged applicant or farmer is an individual entity who is a member of a socially disadvantaged group next please okay the beginning farmer begining farmer is an individual or entity who has not operated a farm for more than ten years and that applies to all entity members substantially participates in the operation for FO that’s farm ownership real estate type loan you cannot own a farm exceeding 30 percent of average acreage for farms in the county at the time of application available resources are not sufficient to enable applicant to enter or continue farming as at a viable scale and all entity members are related and must be beginning farmers and meets the requirements for the type of loan the term beginning is it’s a somewhat confusing because it sounds like you’ve not had you don’t have to have experience but for our loan programs you do and it depends on whether what type of loan you’re looking for will dictate what type of experience you have to have so it is a common question or call that we get saying I have no experience whatsoever but do I meet the definition of beginning a farmer but more than a little more of that also next slide please okay introduction to FSA farm loans if you’re a farmer ranch who is unable to obtain commercial credit from another agricultural lender to start purchase sustain or expand your family farm you may be able to get a loan throughout the fsa’s farm loan program because it has different types of loans depending on your current situation and purpose of the proposed loan FSA loan officers are available to answer your questions and to help with the application process  next please okay direct loans that’s where FSA makes and services direct loans and provides supervised credit and those funds come directly from the us treasury so you’re dealing directly with my aids as far as the loan goes and guaranteed loans that’s where another lender makes and services loans FSA guarantee language made by conventional lenders for the 95 million loss on a guaranteed loan is it says another lender so we we call them guaranteed loans but FSA does not directly lend money basically what it is is the lender makes a loan to an individual at their rates their terms FSA gives that lender a guarantee which is basically a piece of paper that ensures the loan that if the lender gets any financial loss from the loan for let’s say they had there was a liquidation an FSA would pay that lender 90% of their loss so it’s basically a guaranteed insurance policy to the lender and the borrower doesn’t there’s no big advantage to getting a guaranteed loan that lenders will normally request those on a loan that doesn’t quite meet their standard requirements so the guarantee gives them it’s kind of a assurance that they’re more willing to take a little more risk next please okay operating loans purposes can include livestock machine equipment crop inputs operating expenses refinance operating debts reform and minor capital improvements next please an operating loan maximum for a direct operating is 400,000 rates and terms the rates change monthly but become fixed once the loan is approved currently as of August first the rate is rising even as of July and August 1.

375 percent it’s so it’s a low rate and the terms one to seven years depending on the purpose of the loan next please okay eligibility for operating loan you have to operate a family-sized farm been able to obtain credit from another ag lender possess at least at least one year farm training or experience within the last five years and as we said we’ve talked a little bit before about beginning farmers it says they have to have less than 10 years experience and that’s basically what the beginning farmer means is you have less than 10 years experience but you do have to have experience okay also demonstrate acceptable credit history, display repayment ability with the business plan showing a financially viable farm business and offer enough collateral to secure the loan additional security 150 percent required when available next please all right farm ownership and purposes can include purchase a farm or enlarge an existing farm capital improvements such as construction purchase or improvement of farm dwellings or service buildings essentially operation and loan closing costs next please all right for farm ownership loan the maximum limit is six hundred thousand the rates do change monthly but the cost is fixed once the loan is approved current rates two and two point two five it’s two and a quarter and as of august 1 it’s going up slightly to 2.

375 and up to 40 years you know sometimes we go lower but that’s very typical to put a 40-year term on it, next please, all right for farm ownership eligibility you have to operate a family-sized farm unable to take credit from an ag lender and at least three years of farm training or experience within the last 10 years you can substitute certain education or management experience and beginning farmers having less than 10 years experience and owning less than 30 percent of the average farm acreage you have to demonstrate acceptable credit history display repayment ability with a business financially viable farm business and offer at least 100 percent security on real estate purchased or improved next please all right joint financing okay that’s where FSA would provide fifty percent of a total purchase from six hundred thousand and another lender would provide fifty percent or more so in other words if a farm purchase was 400,000 and FSA provided 200,000 or less and the lender provided the balance that meets this program of joint financing and also participating commercial lenders can get up to 95% gearing FSA’s terms normally still 40 years this is current rate is two and a half which with the the other program I’ll say do normal programs two and three seven five so it’s actually lower than a joint financing so we you know we could flop the rate out if the low current rate’s lower than this joint financing rate other lender gets first lien FSA can take second lien and we require at least 100 security on FSA’s portion of the loan and this may alleviate the need for down payment because it would still be normally 100 percent financed next please all right beginning farmer down payment program cash down payment is where the applicant does five percent down that’s five percent of the purchase price FSA lends 45 percent of the purchase price of up to a maximum of three hundred thousand hundred fifty dollars and another lender would do fifty percent or more of the purchase price you have to meet the general farm ownership requirements and especially this definition first depending commercial loans can get up to 95 percent guarantee on your loan other lenders alone must have amortization period of at least 30 years you cannot have a balloon payment due within the first 20 years FSA’s interest rate is currently 1.

5 percent with a term of up to 20 years the other lender gets first lien if I say take second lien and requires at least 100 security on their portion of the loan next please.

60:34 - all right micro loan program this is focused on providing assistance to beginning farmers and ranch operations it’s a simplified application process assist applicants who have limited experience by providing them with an opportunity to gain farm management experience while working with a mentor eliminates the use of high cost personal loans and high interest rate credit cards provides a bridge loan for youth loan borrowers to transition to larger operations next please all right for direct farm operating loans either annual term and direct farm ownership loans there’s a maximum of fifty thousand dollars allowable for borrowers to obtain both an operating and farm ownership microloan and still remain under like micro loan limit okay simplified application process and paperwork may require verification requirements are more proportional to smaller loans and operations, next please microloan eligibility applicants must meet the same eligibility requirements as other direct loans including but not limited to acceptable credit history unable to obtain sufficient credit elsewhere no federal debt delinquency be the owner operator of a family farm and have sufficient managerial ability all right next slide please I guess we’re having a little difficulty Ron are you still there? Yes I’m here it’s stopped on one slide okay you ready to go to the next slide you know let me redo it here we go see that okay should be one after that.

No after that there we go okay all righty for micro loan farm ownership loan managerial ability is the same eligibility requirements as other direct farm ownership loans three years of farm management experience is required within 10 years of the application date applicants may substitute one year farm experience with other certain with certain other criteria for a total of two of the three years required and if an applicant has at least one year experience has hired farm labor with substantial management responsibilities and has established has an established relationship with experienced farmer or rancher or participating in the score program or a mentor three requirement can be waived, next please all right micro loan collateral for direct operating loan micro loan annual operating loans must be must be at least 100 percent secured will be secured up to 150 percent when additional security is available term offering loans must be secured a hundred percent latter examples are crops livestock equipment real estate all right direct to micro loan must be at least 100 percent secured will be secured by the real estate being purchased or improved, next slide please okay application tips application forms are available from FSA offices and online a good farm business plan is critical set short and long ter plans conservatively have records to support production projections have good financial records and get help from experts in extension and state programs etc.

65:04 - next please all right in summary fsa offers direct loans including direct operating loans or direct farm ownership loans targeted funds are allocated for HUS, SDA beginning farmers for both OL and FO or FSA can partner with other lenders to help borrow direct OL and FO micro loans 50,000 or less are available and have a simplified application process allow experience requirements for other loan programs to start small and gain experience and fulfilling fulfill the needs of beginning niche and smaller farmer operations, next please okay this is a map of what we have seven farm loan teams in Virginia I’m in the Chatham one so you see the county that you farm in or want to farm in you can see the offices are marked there that you want to contact and we have a lot of good information on our website also but a good place to start is well let’s get some more off the website but to contact the office directly and speak to a loan officer and we can you can tell us your history and background and what you’re looking to do and then we could guide you from there all righty and one of the things too with the program is it’s that we’re considered a temporary lender so at some point I’m going to be asked to grad we call graduation graduates conventional type credit so we’re not meant to be a long-term creditor and know whether it’s several years or many years down the road as your financial situation improves we’re going to ask you to try to graduate to another lender now the other no at that point then you continue with FSA maybe every couple years may ask down the road so but we we don’t compete with conventional lenders we’re here here as a supplement we have very good rates in very good terms but we don’t compete we can’t take business from them that’s why you’ve seen several times when the basic eligibility is unable to obtain credit elsewhere so all right, next slide please all right then farm loan discovery tool it answers future questions it’s learning about what USDA farm loans maybe right for you and there’s the link there apply for any fsa loan programs as it says contact your local FSA office or visit us right, next slide Is there any more? all right and that’s my contact information and if you’re not sure again where what office to go to you can contact my office and we can based on the county you’re operating or want to operate in we can direct you to that office ready next slide if there’s any more all right thank you thank you Mr.

Kraszewski we appreciate you sharing that no problem you’re welcome from the NRCS we’ll have Brandon Cole the district conservationist out of Cristiansburg office, Brandon? hello everybody hope everybody’s doing good yeah like Michael said there my name is Brandon Cole and I’m the district conservationist in the Christiansburg service center and I cover the city of Radford, Floyd, Giles Montgomery and Pulaski counties, next slide please can everybody hear me good just fine Brandon yeah okay good good okay, today I want to provide a brief overview of our programs and services we offer technical and financial assistance and one plus our advice is available to you and it’s free of charge and we the financial assistance we offer only through incentive pay through the farm bill programs, next slide please okay you can you can consult with our knowledgeable professionals around the commonwealth to discuss your concerns or ideas we want to share your vision and we try to get to know you build a good relationship and try to figure out the goals that you have and what you’re trying to succeed in we also you know look to see areas where you could grow in areas that you can expand on you know we we work with operations of all sizes it doesn’t matter if you have one acre or 500 acres we can help one plus as we come to your operation we walk the property with you talk about what you’re doing and offer suggestions for you to consider we use our nine-step planning process to ensure that right that the right conservation practices are installed not only for you but for the taxpayer dollars entrusted to us next slide please so a main driving force for us is a resource concern and you see there is a threat of a threat or degradation to our soil water air plant or animal resources to an extent that their sustainability or intended use is impaired so to be eligible for financial assistance you must have a resource concern on your property for example if the soil is washing away in your crop field you have a resource concern if you have livestock standing in and drinking from a pond or creek you have a resource concern when we come out we’ll document the resource concerns on the operation during our field visit and begin the conservation planning process the conservationist will recommend things you can do to address the specific resource concern this is where you have to decide do I use this advice should I consider financial assistance next slide please if you are new to the program or if your operation has changed since your last visit to the office you need to take a copy of your deed and apply it to the farm service agency to get a farm and tract number and this goes back to what Tammy was talking about earlier we kind of we’re sister organizations we sort of work together and collaborate with each other there’s things you’ll need to address like social security numbers for those on the deed as well while you’re there at the office you’ll be asked to complete these two forms here the ad1026 and uh if you want to assess the farm bill funding you can’t crop fields without a highly erodible land determination and must not and you must not clear and farm wetlands you’ll also complete an adjustable gross income form while there if your average gross income over the past three years preceding the most immediate taxable year totals more than 900 000 you may not be eligible for usda programs next slide please here’s just kind of an outlook for 2020.

um eqip is our flagship program for financial assistance and offers many options to address resource concerns on those listed cropland grazing land pasture forested land and also organic farms eqip stands for the environmental quality incentive program next slide please wildlife programs we uh you’ll see some you’ll see the picture up there it’s got uh some livestock in it but we’ll we’ll discuss those uh resource concerns a little more in depth in a few minutes but uh you see that 60 percent of the funding must be allocated for livestock a minimum of five percent of funds is also committed for wildlife concerns for many types of land use for example the northern bobwhite in working grasslands program is intended to address the needs of livestock and wildlife by restoring native grasses without taking the land out of production so this is a big this is a big hit with people that also want to help with wildlife programs but also do uh livestock operations where they graze their land and you know this is something where you can combine both of the programs together and address that resource concern next slide please okay we have special fund pools as well at least five percent of eqip funding will be allocated to socially disadvantaged and new and beginning farmers these two groups are eligible for a higher payment rate along with limited resource producers they can receive financial assistance assistance payments of up to 90 percent of the installation for conservation practices veteran farmers who are also new and beginning farmers also receive the higher payment rate and will be funded first next slide please livestock programs water and soil quality are major resource concerns driving these offerings but they don’t tell the whole story good stewardship of livestock operations can also make the farming operation more manageable and possibly increase profitability for the producers so not only are you helping to address our natural resource concerns we have but in doing some of the programs we we go back and talk to a lot of the producers that have done them and it’s just made a world of difference for them from a standpoint of being able to manage their livestock manage your operation and just makes it uh you know in the end makes it more profitable for them um and finally there no issue is too big or small just reach out and we would be happy to evaluate the problem you have and you know look and see if there’s ways that we can address it next slide please okay i’m going to show some pictures here um this is just some livestock resource concerns but remember you have to have a definable resource concern present on the land to receive financial assistance so if you call in we’ll do a field visit with it with you and we’ll determine if that resource concern exists these concerns include but are not limited to livestock in the stream gully erosion soil quality degradation such as livestock feeding operations so in this picture here you can see uh the producer here it’s uh you know there they have got a lot here that’s mainly just holding their livestock in a spring fed stream and you can see it’s totally degraded so this is the type of concern that we’re looking to try to address and try to help with next slide please and here’s just another picture this is a winter feeding uh operation most likely they you know feed in certain areas where it’s um it’s easy to you know take their their hay or grain or silage and uh and a lot of times it’s near a stream so you end up with you know issues like this where you have you know soil that isn’t held in place that it’s easily eroded it’s uh you know a lot of times it’ll get compacted it doesn’t grow grass as well next slide please okay this is also another example you can see a animal trail and path going up that fence line there also you can see an area that is just uh depleted of uh vegetation and uh you know you got a critical area there and and also too uh you know fencing and water watering systems can help you get animals out of surface water so that’s one of our main driving forces is try to is trying to get livestock out of the streams and our water sources next slide please okay here’s an example of an alternative watering system um you know once we get them out of the stream we’ll look to put in a uh you know a well and and a pump a lot of times with pipeline and uh and have a heavy use area around the watering trough like shown here and if you can tell it’s kind of on top of a hill so you know everything drains well from it and it’s not in a low-lying area you know close to a stream so this is just a good example of one of the watering troughs we can look at possibly putting in for a producer next slide please this this picture here it shows a stream exclusion and a riparian buffer a lot of times we uh when we look at fencing them out of the creeks and streams we’ll uh we’ll also look at putting in you know trees to make a riparian buffer and that goes back to tammy’s you know exponential crep program it’s uh we work with them in conjunction i think this was probably a crep project here to to put the trees in to have a riparian buffer as well next slide please okay here’s here’s an example of some of the practices for exclusion fencing or streams and woodland here is uh here’s some of our incentive payments and we pay uh you know by the foot it’s a 1.

99 a foot for electric 2. 02 for barbed wire 2. 43 for woven wire interior fence for rotational grazing systems you know it’s something else we can look at doing it’s a 1. 65 a foot another big component to our programs is trying to get producers to you know graze with a prescribed grazing plan where they rotate through their fields and uh we can give an incentive payment of 19. 38 an acre for uh doing just that just establishing an interior fence and rotational system um well pipeline and trough installation a well is uh is 24.

60 a foot with no payment cap for dep there used to be a payment cap but we’ve hit uh we’ve hit several spots where uh you know it’ll go really really deep and they’ve kind of gotten away from the caps on those uh pipeline is 2. 07 a foot the troughs like we just seen in the picture before a four hole trough is $1,539. 60 and back to the previous slides our rates are higher if you qualify as a beginning farmer or socially disadvantaged or limited resource producer next slide please uh high tunnel systems is uh is a really big big hit in our area right now and in several areas it’s uh it helps you know to allow producers to extend their growing season and also to start growing earlier in the spring and um it’s just a really big hit right now there’s a lot of people interested in a lot of applications for high tunnels one one thing we have to have is our crops have to be grown in the soil no trays or pots next slide please okay here’s here’s some guidelines um you know farmer at the uh at the time of application you know you have to be a farmer this means you have to have the farm records and fsa’s database indicating that you have control of the land and make the management decisions for all land associated with the operation crops can include grains or row crops tobacco seed crops vegetables or fruit hay forges or pasture orchards or vineyards flowers or bulbs ornaments ornamentals or plant material including those grown in greenhouses or high tunnels um and if fsa determines that agriculture land is not producing or has not produced agriculture crops which typically could be grown with a high tunnel system a resource concern does not exist and they they will not be eligible for nrcs funding next slide please continuing on with the high tunnel the high tunnel system practice is a one-time incentive payment made when the high tunnel is built according to manufacturer specifications and one one thing i have run into before is applicants will want to fabricate a high tunnel themselves and we we just can’t do that it’s uh we you know have to have one from a manufacturer’s recommendations and specifications nrcs does not provide design criteria but will need a copy of the specifications that come with the high tunnel package and there’s several uh if someone’s funded there’s several you know approved high tunnel places you people can purchase from one other thing you must keep records of crops grown in the high tunnel for years one through three and provide a copy of for our case files next slide please okay this is kind of a bottom line of the high tunnel here the fy 20 payment rates are two dollars and sixty-four cents a square foot for a quonset style and three dollars and twelve cents a square foot for a gothic style peaked roof fy 21 rates should be similar and like fsa are our new uh year will start october 1.

89:34 - rates are higher there again for the beginning farmer socially disadvantaged or limited resource producer rates for beginning and socially disadvantaged or limited resource producers are a quonset style is 3. 16 a square foot and gothic style with the peaked roof is 3. 75 cents a square foot you know contact us to get started on your application for that if it’s something that interests you and you may also be interested in supporting practices along with the high tunnel such as guttering you can gutter a high tunnel and collect the rain water to use as irrigation underground tanks to hold the water you collected outlets for overflow out of the holding tank next slide please the application package um kind of here’s what you need to get started you uh you have to after you have all your records with fsa established you’ll will do a nrcs application called a cpa 1200 you know we’ll assist you in completing this form and cover the legal obligations spelled out in the appendix the 1199a direct deposit form all incentive payments must be directly or must be direct deposited entity specific forms entities will need to complete some additional documents with nrcs and fsa we will cover this information on an individual basis we’ll need maps of the property fsa provides this item which includes your farm and your tract number next slide please so here’s kind of your next steps you can see uh we’ve got a map over there you know once uh once the paperwork and the applications are completed the application will be reviewed and scored based on its environmental benefits applicants will be funded in descending order from greatest to least benefit until funds are depleted for the year once the state office makes the funding decisions we’ll send you a letter it may ask you if you would like to proceed with the pre-approval or it could be that your application was not funded not all of not all applications will be funded if the application was selected for pre-approval you will want to proceed and you want to proceed you will need we will need we will then prepare a contract once all documents are uh are gathered next slide please okay here’s kind of a breakdown of the timeline or uh for sign ups and everything so i’ll kind of go over that it’s uh it illustrates the program’s timeline processes first program sign up second is review and ranking third is funding applications also known as pre-approvals fourth is practice installation preceded by contract and fifth is inspection and payments please don’t wait until the last day of the sign up period to submit an application we cannot process the paperwork in uh that short amount of time so if you find out a we have a deadline a sign up deadline you know say uh november 15th for example it’s always a good idea to you know as soon as you hear about that something interests you is to get in contact with us and that way we can start working and do our evaluations and farm visits and that way we’re not pressed at the very end to get everything done and finally here the funding approvals typically happen within two weeks of ranking if you begin in practice prior to approval we cannot pay for it so that’s one of the things that’s covered in the appendix that you would also get a copy of and uh you know we get this question all the time landowners will ask hey i’ve i’ve applied for this project but i also you know a month ago i put a fence in on my own is that something you can pay for well you know technically it’s not because we didn’t include it in the contract and uh you know we can’t pay on things that are previously installed uh next slide please and i think we’re saving the questions to the last but uh i hope the information that i provided here will uh will encourage you to visit your local nrcs office you know ask questions about uh you know what we have to offer and uh you know help us or allow us the opportunity to help you all reach your operational goals next slide and this is yeah uh-huh we did have one question i know we have 25 minutes to go so i just wanted to ask that question real quick from mark he said for the high tunnel program who can call who can we call for help with the application um i would uh i would call the local office there whichever you know local service center and um you know i you know i can help figure out which one that is and get them pointed in the right direction to you know get get the ball rolling there but it would it would be the nrcs office the local nrcs office very good thank you uh that’s that’s all that uh i have at this time thank you all for your time and uh i don’t uh real quick i don’t uh i didn’t put my contact information but um you know if anybody wants it i can i can get that for them don’t mind don’t mind a bit very good thank you brandon uh-huh appreciate what you shared and i know for the sake if you look at your clocks on your phone or your computer we have about 23 minutes left uh i would like to offer uh i hate to consolidate things so i much rather just extend uh the meeting to about 3 15.

um if you can stay on great if you can stay on we understand as well and if you have any questions that you want to get in that you um that’s because you have to leave early and please ask those questions now we can try to answer those for you next we have mr david knopf from nass david how you doing afternoon i’m great thank you i will share with you in a couple of moments about the the census of agriculture um but i want to make sure that you are aware that for virginia your point of contact is herman ellison and his information is there on the slide so i’m a stand-in today for for herman he can be your your go-to person if you have questions about the national agricultural statistics service or we can help you in any way so the the national agricultural statistics service prepares reports on crop and livestock production and about 400 of those each year and then every five years conducts the census of agriculture to provide even more detailed information and local information about the production of crops and livestock and information about the farms and the farm operators that information is is valuable for our farmers and our agribusinesses to make marketing decisions and business decisions it’s helpful for universities as they conduct research and provide education it’s important for ag policy uh people that are our uh congressional delegations and and so forth that are making decisions about policy their informed decisions based on uh the best statistics that are available and then very important for usda as well to be able to prepare administer and evaluate programs so i was glad the rural development and the farm service agency and the natural resources conservation service preceded me because they are all users of this this data and so we want to make sure that as a farm operator or potential farm operator that you are represented in the census of agriculture the next one will be conducted in in 2022 and we’re currently in the process of preparing a mail list of farm operators to send the census forms to to be completed and returned and so i’ve included on this slide today at the bottom the link that you can go to to make sure that you’re counted so at that length then you’ll be asked to provide your name and your address and you will be added to our list um to receive the the next census of agriculture when that comes around and then the link preceding that is the link to the the ag census website so you can find information um to answer questions about the census you can find all of the data that’s been published from the very recent census but the 2017 census all the way on back um to the early 1900s when the ag census was first started to first conducted so take advantage of that and use that that information as it may be helpful and pertinent for your needs and then make sure that you’re counted for the next census by going to our website and putting in your name and address information you’ll see at the bottom of the slide the the general nass website nass.

usda. gov and as i said before please make sure to reach out to our our virginia state statistician herman ellison um if you have questions or we can assist well thank you michael thank you mr knopf agreed uh mr ellison for me as well we missed him on the call all right up next special guest from the society of st andrew miss lynette johnson the executive director of society of saint andrew in lynchburg virginia well thank you very much um so the society of saint andrew is a non-profit we work with farmers and specifically we’re working with farmers who have excess or unmarketable crops that they’ve grown that could be used to feed hungry people next slide please can we change slides please oh let me let me restart hang on one second uh okay all right let’s it’s giving me an error one second okay this is number six all right okay does that work now yeah that’s fine thank you okay so um often farmers think about crop loss when you’ve got some kind of a a problem whether that’s an infestation of pests or um excess rain uh frost something that that keeps your crop from growing but also you can think about food loss and that is when you have crops that for whatever reason you are not able to get out of the fields and get to a market um and there are some ways that that you can actually recoup some of the value of that those crops that would otherwise be lost by donating the food so it may be a little bit of a shift in thinking um to think about food loss as opposed to just crop loss next slide please so food for food waste occurs when edible crop yields grow go uneaten slide please about 40 percent of the food that’s grown in this country goes to waste every year often just not picked or harvested could be the wrong shape or size or color for market could be that there’s no sale contract could be that there’s a labor issue that you don’t have laborers available to to harvest the crop so at 40 percent of what’s grown is going to go to waste next next slide please um here are some of the reasons that food would go to waste at the farm level commodity pricing standards would be one um so maybe the peaches are too large or the apples are a little bit blemished um sale contract requirements could be that you’re only allowed to sell uh one ear of corn from each stalk but there are other ears obviously the quality is not as good but they’re still edible and maybe you don’t have a sale contract or perhaps the market price is so low that it’s not worth your while to harvest it and there may be labor or equipment issues could be that your labor has already moved on and the harvest is late could be that you’ve harvested way more than you had a sale contract before perhaps weather issues have made a delay in in harvesting or have caused um blemishes of some sort on the crops that make it um impossible for you to sell and maybe there are packaging issues sometimes it’s transportation issues that are involved that you don’t have a way to get it off your off your farm um and then the final thing might be that if you’ve shipped shipped a load of food somewhere it could be rejected at a point of destination maybe at the distribution center and we can help with that as well next slide please and the usda’s food recovery hierarchy suggests that the best way to reduce excess food is not to grow as much and sometimes that’s hard to do because you’ve got to grow more than contract is for or you may you may risk not having enough but the next best thing to do with food then would be to feed it to hungry people and then down the line animals industrial uses etc etc etc but feeding hungry people is a great thing to do with excess and unmarketable food next please so the society of saint andrew works all over the country we’re based here in virginia we bring people together to harvest and share healthy food reduce food waste and build caring communities by offering nourishment to hungry neighbors next slide usually a system might work like this the food leaves your field the top left slide there goes on a truck to your packing house and then either it goes um on another truck to a grocery store distribution center then to a grocery store and then to the consumers in the alternative system where you’re donating that food it would go to a truck that would take it to a food bank which would keep it for a while and organize it then put it on another truck and send it to direct service agencies like food pantries soup kitchen shelters etc.

etc. and from there it would go to consumers so that would be a typical journey what we do is a little bit different than that next slide please so our value proposition is first of all that we have we work with you to come up with tailored solutions that make it as easy for a farmer grower distributor to donate excess or unmarketable food as it would be for you to throw it away um our detailed reporting allows you maximum tax incentives for your donation at the federal level there are deductions that are available that would be either half the retail value of the food or twice your total cost basis for what you donate even if there’s no market for the food and then in addition in Virginia we participate with the neighborhood assistance program tax credits and we provide those tax credits to farmers for their donations as well we are a grassroots community-based approach to donating food that reduces food miles reduces dependence on warehousing and overhead costs our just-in-time distribution shortens the farm-to-fork process and we get food fresh food onto family tables faster often within 24 hours of harvest next slide please so the way we work is we would get the food from your often from your field by sending volunteers to glean which is picking digging or gathering whatever is left after harvest and then we would send it directly or have our volunteers even take it directly to these direct service agencies usually in the same county where the food is grown so for farmers you’re actually feeding your own hungry neighbors food pantries soup kitchen shelters after school programs senior nutrition programs etc.

etc. and then those agencies give it to consumers usually we’ll try to schedule gleanings at the time when say a food pantry has a distribution either that day or the next so that the food is going straight to hungry families essentially from your field next slide so here are a number of the different ways that we work one is by sending volunteers into the field to glean what’s available after commercial harvest is done next slide um that’s another episode of gleaning in this case the farmer would have tilled up the sweet potatoes and our volunteers are coming in and picking them up from the ground bagging them to take for distribution next slide uh we also glean at farmers markets so if you sell at a farmers market we may be there at the end of the market day asking if you have leftovers that you’d like to donate again we keep detailed records of everything that you give so that at the end of the year we give you a line item tax receipt of what you donated by pounds items and on what day next slide um and then we also work with bins of culls and grade outs or surplus that you may have at your packing house that that you’d like to donate perhaps the apples are ripening a little too fast in the winter and need to get out of cold storage and we can arrange to pick that up and distribute it locally next slide um challenges to fresh produce recovery for us would be volume of food which we’re used to working with volumes from just a couple of pounds uh to one time we worked with a farmer who had 6.

3 million pounds of sweet potatoes left in his barns at the end of his season field heat can be an issue we work with a green bean grower who’s who has green beans that he’s harvesting in the morning a lot of fields heat in them in the summer but we’re able to get those distributed the same afternoon to the end users said that the beans don’t go to waste the extra ones that don’t meet his sale contract transportation is an issue again we work with that distance we’re trying to keep food as local as possible we work with partners of all sizes and shapes just to get the the food distributed as quickly as possible and obviously weather can be an issue as well but we work with all of these challenges to work with you to get that food to people who can eat it next slide we also work on whether it’s just a few pounds or even full tractor trailer loads and we can work with that to get it to people who who are hungry and this was a tractor trailer a dump load a dump trailer load of potatoes that were taken to a parking lot where people bagged them up and local agencies came to pick them up we do a lot of that, next slide pounds that we distributed annually in Virginia every year from 2012 to 2019 have ranged from about four to about six million pounds of food each year next slide most recently we worked with about 160 farmers and produce providers in Virginia last year that food went to 220 receiving agencies including six major food banks that then redistribute it to a thousands of additional agencies in the state we have about six thousand volunteers that work with us here in Virginia putting in about twenty thousand volunteer hours yearly and all together in Virginia that makes about two and a quarter million dollars in food value that Virginia farmers share each year and that it reaches hungry people through feeding agencies throughout the commonwealth at no charge next slide so what we do reduces greenhouse gas emissions by keeping food from rotting and it does make best use of resource inputs so that the water the nutrients the soil um are put to best use by that food being served to people for feeding people who are hungry and in Virginia before COVID that was about 893 000 people but hunger has doubled in the last four months and what we know all together is that by the time people are skimping on meals they’re already behind on their rent and there are already compromising other expenditures um maybe taking half doses of their medication so we just really feel like it’s a shame that food would go to waste when there are people who could eat it um and ways that we can work with volunteers and farmers to see that that food gets to them next slide please um and here’s contact information for us so thank you very much for your time thank you lynette next we have a food and nutrition service this is karen matasicki she was explaining to me she’s having some internet or some connectivity issues so we’re gonna see if she’s available can you hear me we can hear you just fine yes ma’am okay let’s hope this holds it’s been a beast today hi i’m karen matasicki i’m with the usda food and nutrition service we are the administrating agency for 15 different nutrition programs that serve americans including snap or formerly known as food stamps school meals emergency food distribution programs wic programs including farmer’s market nutrition programs and senior farmers market nutrition programs as well as various other child nutrition programs disaster assistance and programs with the to a the food distribution program on indian reservations um so our mission is hello hello yeah yeah you back again okay our mission is to support um that critical connection between farmers and consumers and strengthen our support for local and regional food systems um uh we have we’re focused on establishing partners with our other fellow usda agencies and as well as our state agencies to provide opportunities for local farms to attain increased economic opportunities through participation in our nutrition programs that’s one of our that is one of our uh that is one of our uh critical objectives um for the snap program just to give you an idea um how many people we reach uh there’s approximately 36 million people uh that are on snap each month and with the caveat of before the pandemic benefits are tended are issued through electronic benefit uh transfer cards ebt cards um in virginia before the pandemic it averaged 655 000 virginia residents a month with over a billion issued in snap benefits in fiscal year 2019.

uh that’s an average distribution of 83. 5 million dollars per month um with uh 80 more than 80 percent of that redemption were being redeemed in supermarkets and super stores and only about only approximately 0. 05 percent of snap benefits are redeemed were redeemed at farmers markets and or direct marketing farmers nationwide so this is a giant um opportunity for a revenue stream to provide local access uh to uh to um to local access local foods and direct marketing to your your local consumers um uh just throughout the pandemic we’ve made some adjustments and increased some flexibilities and benefits for instance we’ve allowed states to issue emergency supplemental snap benefits that totaled more than 2 billion per month that increased snap benefits by 40 percent um expanding online purchasing pilots uh in virginia that would be to amazon and walmart uh but waiver requirements making it easier for states to serve your snap clients to serve your school nutrition clients but the most active thing that will probably interest you we’ve implemented pandemic ebt that allows it takes approximately five dollars and seventy cents uh per day per meal per child uh through the end of the school year which meant an issuance of more than um they estimate more than 90 million dollars uh an additional ebt that went to families for almost uh 248 000 snap children and another 127 million for uh 340 000 non-snap children for school closures uh through from march through the end of the school year and that’s in virginia that’s just virginia so there are a lot of dollars out there um and if the pandemic has proven anything for us the local supply chain is often the easiest to access uh uh most reliable supply chain so sorry um in addition to that the we’ve uh also had meals for kids uh to help find locations for meals with for when when schools are closed we’re supporting food banks with over six billion dollars worth of food and administrative resources and uh providing um and also providing support to um and this is not actually fns we are supporting the agricultural marketing service farmers to family food box program which is probably the program that you have heard have heard the most about in the news the farmer’s family’s food box program has provided over 800 million 850 million for administrative costs and food purchases with a minimum of 600 million of that being designated directly for food purchases we’ve been through two rounds of farmers families food boxes uh so far and they are now accepting solicitations for a third round which i will share the link that if you’re interested in participating in the farmer’s family food box program you can send a proposal in directly to ams in addition to that though the most uh in addition to the snap farmers market and having snap farmers market we also have the senior farmers market nutrition program and the farmers market nutrition programs these programs are administered by our supplemental food for women infant and children or wic programs so and they are normally seasonal programs they generally operate between june and november um because of the uncertainty of the pandemic the program’s programs are being assessed for flexibilities and and the likes of what they can do but to give you an idea the dollar the dollar amounts are smaller with this it’s a at a uh thirty dollar uh one-time seasonal benefit for eligible wic participants in the farmer’s market nutrition program and a 45 dollar one-time seasonal benefit for the senior farmers market nutrition programs these programs are administered through different agencies and have different qualifications so if you wanted to become authorized to accept these programs as well as as well as our snap authorized programs you would have to go through for these programs you would have to go through the department of health and department of aging dars aging and rehabilitation service does the certification for these farmers markets to get snap authorized however it’s a process that you can do and start online um you on the fns website um it can take up to 30 to 45 days to become authorized once your application is complete um but you have to sign up for an account with usda online account with our e-authentication process and then you can apply for to become a snap authorized farmer and once you do that then you wait for the retailer operations division to make to assess your application and make determination and once approved then you can also work to you can also rent or purchase wireless equipment from an equipment vendor um there are several options available um if you already have a credit debit through a provider you can ask them if you can use that machine to accept ebt and and what the cost would be for any associated fees if you otherwise you can reach out to a different vendor we have lists of vendors that do accept ebt along with prices and contacts for each vendor so uh you can and so if you’re interested in that information i will provide you with contact information and put you in touch with the person who can help you with that states are required to make um no cost ebt only a point of sale equipment available to retailers such as farmers market and direct farmers and marketing farmers that are exempt from the 2014 farm bill requirement that snap retailers pay for their equipment but uh but it’s the the states are encouraged to make this wireless but it’s not always the case um you’ll have to you would have to check with your snap contact to determine if that is available uh to you in virginia um i will be uh providing after the uh after the the after this uh event is over i’ll be providing a fact sheet that outlines the process of becoming snap authorized and where you need to go and whom you need to contact other than that just to give you a breakdown of what types of things you can buy and buy with uh through the farmer’s market uh through um versus the farmers market nutrition program and snap um the the any snap eligible food item that means something that cannot be that is designed to be taken home and eaten or it is not for immediate consumption can be purchased with a snap ebt card um and it’s available all year round for the wic farmers market senior farmer’s market program it’s a locally grown eligible produce for uh for the farmers market nutrition program and the seniors farmers market nutrition program you can also produce and sell honey and herbs for the senior farmers market the senior farmers market and farmer’s market nutrition programs are paper-based paper-based instruments checks coupons that you that you can collect and then redeem with with your designated state agency if you’re interested in becoming snap authorized please reach out to us or go right online and uh and process your application uh in the information that will be provided and if you are interested in becoming um authorized for our senior farmers market or farmers market nutrition programs please reach out to your to the designated state agency and the information that will be provided thank thank you ms motosicki i appreciate what you contributed today does anyone have any questions or any of our presenters any questions from anyone i doesn’t look like i see any questions in the area um so that was the last one on the high tunnel but i want to thank all participants today okay very good sorry about that um for the presenters where will the slides be available mike my slide will be available okay fsa we have slides available any of the other agencies uh yes i i can make mine available okay yeah mike i got all uh rural development has theirs available okay if you could uh get your computer maybe put your uh website where your uh the slides would be available at and if you have uh want to turn that those presentations to a pdf you can email it to me and i can email it out to the everybody who was in attendance okay thank you thank you mike thank you yeah i can do that very good uh irene x do you have to already be producing a crop to qualify for ncr nrcs assistance Yes we you’d have to be you know producing some type of you know garden spot or some some type of vegetable or something like that to to are you talking like for the hoop house program I believe so yeah he would equip yeah yes yes yes we like to you know have actively you know doing some type of gardening or you know growing something there to to have that resource concern very good any other questions Mark actually for the hoop house with the cover crop work as a as a crop for NRCS Mr.

Cole That’s a, that’s a tough one there I guess would they be growing something prior to the cover crop.

32:40 - Would it? I guess depending on maybe the type of coffee crop. So, if you did like a radish or mustard greens, something that would already be food crop versus doing a you know a floor or a clover or something it would yeah we would like it to be more of, like a… you know, a lot of times it’s more of like a vegetable crop or you know something we we usually don’t do them you know just like a cover crop or something like that because with that resource concern.

we’re trying to address is the production plant productivity and health and you know the cover crop it’ll do pretty good in the winter time so it’s it’s usually just trying to extend that growing season for you know vegetable producer or you know something along that nature.

33:39 - Very good. Any other questions? All right well, if there’s no other questions on behalf of Virginia State University small farm outreach program, we thank you for coming out and spending extra 12 minutes with us for this very informational call. Thanks to all our USDA partners and presenters, we appreciate all the valuable information that you shared and we’ll look to get this resources out to you as soon as I receive them, so that you can make some better decisions or participate in programs more fully in the coming spring or in fall as far as what’s coming up next.

If there’s not anymore questions that we’ll go ahead and close this thing out. Thank you very much and appreciate working with you. Thank you very much. Thank you all Thank you  Thank you Thank you have a great day and stay cool that’s what I’m not doing. I know Thanks to all the presenters also thank you very much and have a wonderful evening.

35:06 - You’re welcome Diane, thank you for putting this all together appreciate it. .