Putting New 2008 Farm Bill Programs to Work for Producers


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  • Dairy farm in Chippewa Co: 300 acres of cropland, 400 acres of woods, 400 cows and he’s thinking of expanding to 600
  • Richard de Wilde, Harmony Valley, organic vegetable farm
  • Randy Schmidt owns a CAFO and farms 6000 acres in Door County
  • Traditionally organic farmers had to compete with everybody else for EQIP funds
  • Share brochure information Explain CSA model Talk briefly of the transition to agro-forestry
  • Just for producers or groups of producers (including co-ops) Mid-tier value chain, read: transparent regional supply network – made to strengthen the profitability and competitiveness of small and mid-scale farmers
  • Putting New 2008 Farm Bill Programs to Work for Producers

    1. 1. Putting New Farm Bill Programs to Work for Producers Bridget Holcomb Associate Policy Director Michael Fields Agricultural Institute
    2. 2. Outline • Conservation Stewardship Program • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Organic Initiative • Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education • Value Added Producer Grants • Other resources
    3. 3. Conservation Stewardship Program “You’re saving your soil, you’re costs are cheaper, and you’re going to make more money in the end. You’re a fool not to be in this program.” Bob Bernier
    4. 4. Conservation Stewardship Program • For farmers and private forest land owners • Rewarded for existing conservation practices and new practices • 5 year contract with NRCS • Payments – cropland or pastureland: $10 to $40 per acre – forest land: $2 to $24 per acre – capped at $40,000 per year • Long application!
    5. 5. Conservation Stewardship Program Previous On-Farm Conservation Practices: • Same-day incorporation of applied manure and compost • Cover crops • Shrub rows for beneficial insect habitat • Waste oil recycling Conservation Improvements through CSP: • Pasture diversity • Habitat for beneficial insects and wildlife “We try to continually take on little conservation projects, and CSP gives us that extra push to get us going.” Richard de Wilde
    6. 6. Conservation Stewardship Program Photo by Agri-View “It’s about protecting the environment for the next generation. My dad did that for me, and I want to do that for my kids. Establishing good conservation is the right thing to do.” Randy Schmidt Previous On-Farm Conservation Practices: • Minimum-till and no-till • Minimum residue application • Gypsum soil amendment to reduce runoff Conservation Improvements through CSP: • Crop tissue sampling for nitrogen • Variable rate technology for planting and nutrient management
    7. 7. Conservation Stewardship Program Resources: • http://www.wi.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp/ cstp.html • Local NRCS office
    8. 8. EQIP Organic Initiative • EQIP now has an organic provision • Both existing organic farmers and those transitioning to organic • Cost share for organic conservation practices – 75% cost share – 90% for socially disadvantaged farmers and beginning farmers • $20,000/yr cap, total cap of $80,000 over six years • For more information: – Pat Murphy, 608-662-4422 x 258 pat.murphy@wi.usda.gov – Matt Otto 608-662-4422 x245 matt.otto@wi.usda.gov
    9. 9. Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
    10. 10. Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education • For more information: – www.sare.org – Diane Mayerfeld, 608.262.8188 dbmayerfeld@wisc.edu
    11. 11. Value Added Producer Grants Sassy Cow Creamery: working capital for a small, start-up organic and conventional milk processor and bottler project
    12. 12. Value Added Producer Grants Deirdre Birmingham: feasibility study leading to the development of the business, operations, and marketing plans necessary to successfully produce and market hard apple cider in the Southern Wisconsin region.
    13. 13. Value Added Producer Grants Agrecol: working capital to add value to native seeds by processing them into branded mixtures.
    14. 14. Value Added Producer Grants • What is a value added product? – Changed in physical state – Organic crops – Grass-fed livestock – Locally produced and marketed foods – Mid-tier value chains • Up to $100,000 for business plans and feasibility studies • Up to $300,000 for working capital • Long application!
    15. 15. …and one Wisconsin Program Buy Local Buy Wisconsin Program • Grants up to $50,000 to connect Wisconsin producers with Wisconsin consumers • Wisconsin Local Food Marketing Guide: a step by step guide for local food producers interested in entering local food markets • datcp.state.wi.us/mktg/business/mark eting/val-add/directmktg/blbw.jsp; DatcpBLBW@wi.gov or call Teresa Engel at 608-224-5101
    16. 16. Resources • Agricultural Innovation Center fyi.uwex.edu/aic/ • Building Sustainable Places guide attra.ncat.org/guide/  Grassroots Guide to the Farm Bill http://sustainableagriculture.net/publication s/grassrootsguide/
    17. 17. Bridget Holcomb Associate Policy Director Michael Fields Agricultural Institute 608-256-1859 Bridget@MichaelFieldsAgInst.org