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Wednesday, 12 July 2017 16:26

On the farm

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Emergency loans for WNC farmers

Farmers in five Western North Carolina counties are eligible for Farm Service Agency emergency management loans due to drought, storms and floods in the region.

When natural disaster was declared in the state of Tennessee in February, due to damages and losses caused by drought last fall, five adjacent counties in WNC became eligible for FSA emergency loan assistance. Farmers in Haywood, Swain, Cherokee, Graham and Madison counties can apply for one of the loans, intended to cover physical and production losses, until Oct. 23.

A major disaster declared in the state of Tennessee on June 23 — due to damages and losses caused by severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding from storms May 27-28 — makes farmers in three contiguous N.C. counties eligible for FSA emergency loan assistance. Farmers in Haywood, Swain and Graham counties have until Feb. 23, 2018, to file a loan application to help with physical and production losses.

Farmers should contact their local FSA office for information about applying.

 

FSA committees need nominations

Nominations are underway for local FSA county committees, with nomination forms due by Aug. 1 for an election period beginning Nov. 6.

County committees are made up of farmers and ranchers elected by other producers in their communities to guide how federal farm programs are delivered at the local level. Committees consist of three to 11 members who meet monthly, serving three-year terms. To be eligible to serve, a person must participate or cooperate in an FSA-administered program and reside in the local administrative areas where the election is held.

“County committees allow farmers and ranchers to make decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally to best serve their needs,” said Acting FSA Admin-istrator Chris Beyerhelm. “There’s an increasing need for representation from underserved producers, which includes beginning, women and other minority farmers and ranchers.”

Nomination forms must be postmarked or delivered to the local FSA office by Aug. 1, with FSA mailing ballots beginning Nov. 6. Ballots will be due back by Dec. 4, with newly elected members taking office Jan. 1, 2018.

Nomination forms are available at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections.

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