USDA unveils new program to assist beginning farmers<
By Agri-Pulse Staff
© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.
Washington, May 14, 2010 - Starting May 17, retiring producers can sign up for the Transition Incentives Program (TIP) - a new program under the Conservation Title of the 2008 Farm Bill - to encourage retired or retiring owners or operators to transition their land to beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers. The TIP was created in the 2008 Farm Bill and authorized at a funding level of $25 million.
To be eligible, TIP requires that the retired or retiring farmer or rancher:
- Have land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) that is in the last year of the contract.
- Agree to allow the beginning or socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher make conservation and land improvements.
- Agree to sell, or have a contract to sell, or agree to long-term lease (a minimum of 5 years) the land under CRP contract to a beginning or socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher by Oct. 1 of the year the CRP contract expires.
Merrigan said she hoped that the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union and other organizations would assist USDA in publicizing TIP.
If all program requirements are met, TIP provides annual rental payments to the retiring farmer for up to two additional years after the date of the expiration of the CRP contract, provided the transition is not to a family member. To learn more about program, producers interested in applying and participating in TIP should visit their USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.
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