Keenan Bishop

County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources Education


Ky Agriculture Water Quality Act - Jim Morse's Story








 

Early Registration Discounts Extended + Scholarships Available

OAK's 10th Annual Conference offers a packed agenda that was designed with extensive input from you, our food and farming community. Thanks to generous 2021 Conference sponsors, and in the spirit of growing the movement for organic agriculture in Kentucky, we have exciting news...

Early bird pricing EXTENDED through Dec. 31, 2020! There is still time to reserve your spot and save. Consider a conference registration as a holiday gift for that special farmer or local food advocate in your life.  

Our sponsors made it possible to offer MORE conference scholarships + deadline EXTENDED! Read all the details and apply here by 12/31/2020. Help share the opportunity and pass it along to a friend who might like to attend!

Reserve your spot now and get ready to log in to the event from the comfort of home to virtually participate in 25 live sessions. Topics include cover crops, no-till, livestock-crop integrated rotations, pastured poultry, CSA, market gardening, grazing management, racial justice in agriculture, climate solutions, conservation practices, and KY farmers sharing conversation as speakers and in open roundtables and more.

All sessions will be live streamed and then recorded and available to attendees for up to one year. CEUs available. Find resources, sign up for giveaways and connect with industry experts in the Virtual Trade Show. 

Join us this coming January 26-30 to reflect on the year, learn new tools and practices, and share inspiration for what's to come!

 

 

Myths Debunked: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2)

USDA is now accepting applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) for farmers and ranchers whose operations have been impacted by the current pandemic. Signup closes on December 11.  Have you submitted your application? Let’s debunk some common myths that may be holding you back.  For more information click here.  


We have a great line-up for November on From the Woods Today, the weekly webcast program by the UK Forestry and Natural Resources Extension team, co-hosted by Reneé Williams and Billy Thomas. This show covers a range of issues, presenting “news you can use” related to timely topics. Each week we feature a range of presentations by different specialists, agents, and guests, covering everything from tree ID, to forest health, to wildlife.



Unsolicited Foreign Seeds

People in several states, including several residents in Kentucky, have received unsolicited small packages of foreign seeds in the mail from China. Potentially these can pose a threat to Kentucky agriculture and the environment through the introduction of invasive plants or diseases.  The purpose of these seed shipments is unclear at this time but we need to get the message out that people should not plant them and to send these to the appropriate authorities.

Here is a press release by Commissioner Quarles from this morning. We are asking that anyone who receives any seeds to fill out the attached form and send them inside an air-tight container to the USDA office in NKY. There are several states that have been receiving seeds and the USDA is trying to gather as much information as possible. The seeds are in small sample packets and I have attached a couple of pictures from what we have seen thus far.  

Send the unopened packages in a secure package to:

USDA-APHIS PPQ

P.O. Box 475

Hebron, Kentucky 41048

Individuals are also encouraged to contact the Kentucky Department of Agriculture at (502) 573-0282 or e-mail ag.web@ky.gov. If anyone has any questions, please let them know to contact Joe Collins at the UK Dept of Entomology (859-257-5838).

Unsolicited foreign seeds in a package                                     Unsolicited foreign seeds in package


USDA Adds Digital Options for Farmers and Ranchers to Apply for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

USDA’s Farm Service Agency announced that it will now accept applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) through an online portal, expanding the options available to producers to apply for this program, which helps offset price declines and additional marketing costs because of the coronavirus pandemic. FSA is also leveraging commercial document storage and e-signature solutions to enable producers to work with local service center staff to complete their applications from home.

Through the portal, producers with secure USDA login credentials—known as eAuthentication—can certify eligible commodities online, digitally sign applications and submit directly to the local USDA Service Center. Producers who do not have an eAuthentication account can learn more and begin the enrollment process at farmers.gov/sign-in. Currently, the digital application is only available to sole proprietors or single-member business entities.

USDA Service Centers can also work with producers to complete and securely transmit digitally signed applications through two commercially available tools: Box and OneSpan. Producers who are interested in digitally signing their applications should notify their local service centers when calling to discuss the CFAP application process. You can learn more about these solutions at farmers.gov/mydocs.

USDA has several other options for producers to complete and submit their CFAP applications. These include:

  1. Downloading the AD-3114 application form from farmers.gov/cfap and manually          completing the form to submit to the local USDA Service Center by mail, electronically or by hand delivery to an office drop box. In some limited cases, the office may be open for in-person business by appointment. Visit farmers.gov/coronavirus/service-center-status to check the status of your local office.
  2. Completing the application form using our CFAP Application Generator and Payment Calculator found at farmers.gov/cfap. This Excel workbook allows customers to input information specific to their operation to determine estimated payments and populate the application form, which can be printed, and then signed and submitted to their local USDA Service Center.

Getting Help from FSA

New customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer general assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages the team at the FSA county office at their local USDA Service Center.

All other eligibility forms, such as those related to adjusted gross income and payment information, can be downloaded from farmers.gov/cfap. For existing FSA customers, these documents are likely already on file.

Producers self-certify their records when applying for CFAP, and that documentation is not submitted with the application. However, producers may be asked for their documentation to support the certification of eligible commodities, so they should retain the information used to complete their application.

More Information

To find the latest information on CFAP, visit farmers.gov/cfap or call 877-508-8364.

All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors may also be required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Field work will continue with appropriate social distancing.FSA program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with producers in office, by phone and using online tools.

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Community Farm Alliance logo

Kentucky Black Farmer Fund

COVID-19 has created opportunities and challenges for all small family-scale farmers. For Black farmers, these new demands are piled onto existing challenges, because of these systemic historical inequities. Community Farm Alliance (CFA) is partnering with Black Soil: Our Better Nature to create the Kentucky Black Farmer Fund to shift critical funding into the hands of Black farmers. CFA received funding from Farm Aid which will be allocated completely to the Kentucky Black Farmer Fund.  For more information visit: https://cfaky.org/kybff/.  




Specialty Crops Producers Can Now Apply for Financial Assistance Through USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

WASHINGTON, May 26, 2020-–Specialty crops producers can now apply for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which provides direct payments to offset impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. The application and a payment calculator are now available online and USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) staff members are available via phone, fax and online tools to help producers complete applications. The agency set up a call center in order to simplify how they serve new customers across the nation. Applications will be accepted through August 28, 2020.

Through CFAP, USDA is making available $16 billion for vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline due to COVID-19 and face additional significant marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production, and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of commodities.

We also want to remind producers that the program is structured to ensure the availability of funding for all eligible producers who apply. In order to do this, producers will receive 80 percent of their maximum total payment upon approval of the application. The remaining portion of the payment, not to exceed the payment limit, will be paid at a later date nationwide, as funds remain available.

Producers can download the CFAP application and other eligibility forms from farmers.gov/cfap. Also, on that webpage, producers can find a payment calculator to help identify sales and inventory records needed to apply and calculate potential payments.

Additionally, producers in search of one-on-one support with the CFAP application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. This is a good first step before a producer engages the team at the FSA county office at their local USDA Service Center. 

Applying for Assistance

Producers of all eligible commodities will apply through their local FSA office. Those who use the online calculator tool will be able to print off a pre-filled CFAP application to sign and submit to your local FSA office either electronically or via hand delivery. Please contact your local office to determine the preferred method. Producers can find contact information for their FSA county office by visiting farmers.gov/CFAP and using the Find Your Local Service Center tool at the bottom of the page.

Documentation to support the producer’s application and certification may be requested after the application is filed. FSA has streamlined the signup process to not require an acreage report at the time of application and a USDA farm number may not be immediately needed.

 Additional Commodities

USDA is also establishing a process for the public to identify additional commodities for potential inclusion in CFAP. Specifically, USDA is looking for data on agricultural commodities, that are not currently eligible for CFAP, that the public believes to have either:

  1. suffered a five percent-or-greater price decline between mid-January and mid-April as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,
  2. shipped but subsequently spoiled due to loss of marketing channel, or
  3. not left the farm or remained unharvested as mature crops.

More information about this process is available on farmers.gov/cfap.

 More Information

To find the latest information on CFAP, visit farmers.gov/cfap or call 877-508-8364.

USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only, and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone and using online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus

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Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Payment Calculator Preview

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

Click on the link above to view a great video on how to apply for the USDA's Coronavirus Food Assistance Program with the payment calculator.


USDA to Provide $1 Billion in Loan Guarantees for Rural Businesses and Ag Producers

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 22, 2020 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the Department is making available up to $1 billion in loan guarantees to help rural businesses meet their working capital needs during the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans may receive funding under USDA Business & Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program provisions included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Eligible applicants may contact their local USDA Rural Development State Office in the state where the project is located.  

USDA is developing application guides for lenders and borrowers on the B&I CARES Act Program. The Agency also will host two webinars to provide an overview of program requirements.

To register for the webinar on Wednesday, May 27 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time, visit globalmeet.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1322642&tp_key=7a700acddd.

To register for the webinar on Wednesday, June 3 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, visit globalmeetwebinar.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1324161&tp_key=6067315417.

For more information, please click here.

For our producers and agri-businesses: please be aware you are prioritized to access PPE and sanitation supplies.

FDA and USDA Release Recommendations for those in the Food and Agriculture Sector Experiencing Shortages of PPE, Cloth Face Coverings, Disinfectants, and Sanitation Supplies
Constituent Update
May 22, 2020

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, released recommendations to help address shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), cloth face coverings, disinfectants, and sanitation supplies in the food and agriculture industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The current constraints on these supplies are causing concerns about the potential for interruptions in the food supply chain. These supplies are critical for worker safety, the continuity of the food supply, food safety, and employee/consumer confidence.

The recommendations call for the prioritization of supplies, first to the Healthcare and Public Health as well as the Emergency Services sectors, and then to the Food and Agriculture sector (as well as other Critical Infrastructures). The recommendations provide information on potential sourcing of supplies, including through private sector suppliers and state emergency management agencies. The recommendations also include information that Food and Agriculture stakeholders should provide when ordering or requesting these supplies.

For more information, please go to: https://www.fda.gov/…/food-and-agriculture-considerations-p…



USDA Announces Details of Direct Assistance to Farmers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

05/19/2020 12:07 PM EDT

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 19, 2020 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to this direct support to farmers and ranchers, USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program is partnering with regional and local distributors, whose workforces have been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat and deliver boxes to Americans in need.

For more information please click here.




Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

Are you a farmer or rancher whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic? The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program will provide direct relief to producers who have suffered losses during the 2020 marketing year due to COVID-19.

About the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program - USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance program on April 17, 2020. CFAP will use funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and other USDA existing authorities. This $19 billion immediate relief program includes direct support to agricultural producers as well as the Food Box Distribution Program.

To find out more about this program, please click here or go to https://www.farmers.gov/cfap.


Newsletter available. Please click here.





 










Kentucky Cattlemen's Ground Beef Program, by Beef Solutions. To find out more information on the program, call 859-278-0899.