Published Jul 15, 2009

Farm Bill Helpline

By Luke Gran

The Center for Rural Affairs has established a Farm Bill Helpline to help provide farmers and ranchers with information on farm bill programs that can help them get started in farming or ranching, establish high value niche markets, implement conservation-based farming and ranching systems as well as transition to organic farming or ranching.

The Farm Bill Helpline will assist farmers and ranchers with programs such as the Conservation Stewardship Program (CStP), the Environmental Quality Incentives Organic Initiative (EQIP), the Value Added Producer Grants Program, as well as the beginning farmer and rancher provisions and incentives.

Through the Helpline, the Center for Rural Affairs would also like to learn what the farmers or ranchers experience is with signing up for these programs.

Many critical administrative policy decisions are never published in the Federal Register. They are buried deep in USDA handbooks and computer programs. The only way to discover them is to learn from the people enrolling.

This will inform our advocacy and can remove administrative barriers that keep farmers and ranchers from participating. This will also protect the integrity of conservation programs by ensuring that they are implemented in a manner that truly supports conservation.

It is critically important that as many farmers and ranchers as possible participate in the programs to ensure we build a strong constituency for them.

Contact the Farm Bill Helpline via the web at:

Or, by calling Traci Bruckner at (402) 687-2100.