David Smith of Smith Farms in Missouri received disaster assistance from the Farm Service Agency after a tornado destroyed three of his grain bins. The 2014 Farm Bill reinstated the disaster programs that help producers recover from natural disasters.
This post is part of a disaster assistance program feature series on the USDA blog. Check back every Wednesday as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s Farm Service Agency.
When a tornado touched down in the rural southeast Missouri town of Puxico it sent some ranchers into survival mode. David Smith, owner of Smith Farms was one of them.
“It was a tough setback, financially,” said Smith.
The tornado destroyed three grain bins and damaged two others, causing a loss of about 3,400 bushels of wheat and 4,000 bushels of corn used as feed for over 1,500 cattle. Within minutes Smith saw thousands of dollars blow away, along with fences, a hay barn, outbuildings and feeding equipment. Read more »
It’s a big deal when you’ve just graduated from a small town high school in Western Nebraska to make a trip to Washington, D.C. It’s especially a big deal when you get to sit in the office of the Administrator of the Farm Service Agency while in D.C. and share your thoughts.
Spencer Hartman made the trip recently. He sat with FSA Administrator Juan M. Garcia and Deputy Administrator for Farm Loan Programs Chris Beyerhelm. He was joined by colleague Bryce Doeschot, also a Nebraska native but from the opposite side of the state. They talked about farming. Read more »
Puerto Rico’s agriculture has been steadily declining and imports total 85 percent of the food consumed on the island. Additionally, almost all of the $11 million per year that USDA purchases for use in Puerto Rico’s school meals are purchased from companies in the continental United States. What’s more, each year the island’s School Food Authority purchases about $80 million in food to be served in school. We saw these as opportunities for local farmers and decided to do something about it.
The Market Expansion Conference, held June 23-24 in San Juan, teamed seven U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies and other Commonwealth and federal partners to show over 250 farmers how to sell food to local schools, expand their businesses and increase their participation in USDA programs. Puerto Rico’s milk farmers, cattle ranchers, pineapple growers and many others eagerly listened to USDA experts explain grading and licensing, and provide information in the areas of funding and procurement. Read more »
When Terri Trevino heard that the agriculture program in the Calvert Independent School District in Texas might be suspended due to the lack of an instructor, she immediately turned to the Farm Service Agency to fill the gap.
“I knew that it was important to keep the agriculture program active because of the town’s background and dependence on agriculture as a way of life,” said Trevino, farm loan manager for Bell, Falls, Milam and Williamson counties in Texas. “I also know how important the role of a teacher is in keeping kids interested in learning and staying in school.” Read more »
Thank you Willie Nelson for giving us a great theme song during our journey around the great state of Texas recently as we continued the conversation about jobs and economic growth in rural America that began in December with President Obama at the White House. The Farm Service Agency Executive Director, Juan Garcia, and I decided that the best way to hold these forums were to do it face-to-face with our rural communities. Nine days of driving over 3000 miles, we met with over 100 Texans at seven forums held in strategically located areas. Read more »