[Market-farming] Re: FSA and Farm Bill Survey

Ted Patterson patters at erols.com
Fri Oct 3 09:41:08 EDT 2003

At 5:55 PM -0400 10/2/03, IdleThymeFarm at aol.com wrote:
>>>Here is the deal....FSA is so far refusing me a farm number because I am
>>>a small producer even though I have exceeded the dollar figure. I have
>>>been fighting this battle since February and I do not want to be shut
>>>out of all Farm Bill research funding. I am meeting with my state
>>>senator soon and want to have some ammo in my pocket. Fighting the
>>>million acre ranching mentality out here is truly a challenge but I know
>>>that other small producers exist that have taken this road! Thanks in
>>>advance for your input.<<<

It's foolish or lazy of the local office not to register you as a producer.
They may believe that you are not growing the so-called program crops--cash
grain, for example--but even as a small farmer you are eligible for loans,
conservation and disaster assistance.

You'll probably need to pull together planting history and yield info.

The local FSA staff may have some notion that giving you a farm number is a
waste of their time, but the number of farmers they serve and their
"workload" actually determines the pay scale for the county office.  Go

Talking with your _state_ senator is fine, but note that this is a local
office of the _federal_ USDA.  As mentioned, contact the local county
committee and see if that's the way they want the local staff to behave.
If they're still balking, call the FSA state executive director (who is a
political appointee).

Finally, there are some folks in Washington DC headquarters who get paid to
attend to the needs of small farmers and they'd be dismayed to hear you've
been getting the runaround since February.  I don't have the DC phone
number at hand, but can get it easily if you need it.

In addition to being a small farmer, you're a voter and a taxpayer, and
this should get fixed.
-Ted Patterson

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