CDFA SECRETARY KAREN ROSS TO HOST FARM BILL LISTENING SESSIONS

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is hosting listening sessions to seek input from farmers, ranchers, and other stakeholders on priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill.

With many of the grant programs that Morrison writes on behalf of our clients funded by the Farm Bill, we encourage those invested in agriculture across California to attend CDFA's Farm Bill listening sessions, hosted by Secretary Karen Ross (times and locations of listening sessions are listed below).

Provided comments will be used to help develop recommendations on the Farm Bill that will be shared with California’s Congressional delegation and the leadership of the Senate and House agricultural committees.

The current Farm Bill, the Agricultural Act of 2014, will expire next year necessitating action by Congress. The Farm Bill provides an estimated $489 billion in federal funding nationwide to support a variety of food and agricultural programs including crop insurance, conservation, nutrition, and trade.

The current Farm Bill funds many important grant-funded programs aimed to support growers, marketing cooperatives, non-profit organizations, and support services and industries. It is important to remember many of these programs are in jeopardy of renewal without proper advocacy. To mention a few that fall under the 2014 Farm Bill:

  • Rural Development (RD) Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG): The VAPG program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of value-added products. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income are the goals of this program.
  • National Institute of Food and Ag (NIFA) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP): This program provides grants to organizations for education, mentoring, and technical assistance initiatives for beginning farmers or ranchers.
  • Risk Management Agency (RMA) Risk Management Education (RME) Program: This program provides funding to organizations to deliver training and information in the management of production, marketing, legal, human, and financial risk to U.S. agricultural producers through educational sessions.
  • Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP): The Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) offers grant funds to support the development and expansion of local and regional food business enterprises to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets.
  • CDFA Specialty Crop Block Grants Program (SCBGP): The SCBGP is designed to support all sectors of California's specialty crop industry and improve the performance of California specialty crops within local, domestic, and international markets. Trade associations, specialty crop organizations, marketing cooperatives and non-profit associations, among others, can apply for funding to advance marketing, research, or training and education projects that benefit the California specialty crop industry.
  • Rural Development (RD) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP): REAP provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.
  • NIFA Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI): The purpose of the SCRI program is to address the critical needs of the specialty crop industry by awarding grants to support research and extension that address key challenges of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture, including conventional and organic food production systems

California Farm Bill Listening Sessions:

Modesto – Tuesday, February 7th (4:30 – 6:30 p.m.)
DoubleTree Hotel (Napa Room)
1150 Ninth Street
Modesto, CA 95354

Chico – Wednesday, February 8th (4:30 – 6:30 p.m.)
Silver Dollar Fair (Harvest Hall)
2357 Fair Street
Chico, CA 95928

Tulare (World Ag Expo) – Thursday, February 16th (Noon – 3:00 p.m.) .
International Agri-Center Heritage Complex (Theater)
4500 S. Laspina Street
Tulare, CA 93274

Salinas – Wednesday, February 22nd (4:30 – 6:30 p.m.)
Monterey County Farm Bureau
1140 Abbott Street, Suite C.
Salinas, CA 93901

Los Angeles – Thursday, February 23rd (1:00 – 3:00 p.m.)
Los Angeles Trade Technical College (Meeting Room: TBD)
400 West Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90015

To learn more information:

Toni Scott is a principal at Morrison, which provides competitive grant writing, business planning (including budgeting, cash flow forecasting, and strategic planning), feasibility studies, and people solutions. You can contact Toni directly at tscott@morrisonco.net or via telephone at 530-893-4764 ext. 205.

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