FSA Outreach Program starts Jan. 12, 2017

The goal of this English/Spanish program is to increase access to Farm Services Agency (FSA) programs and services to Michigan small fruit growers.

Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan Farm Services Agency (FSA), with the assistance of the Michigan Food and Farming Systems (MIFFS), are inviting small, underserved and limited resource growers, including beginning and new farmers, with small farming units to attend a series of FSA Outreach Program workshops starting Jan. 12, 2017, in southwest Michigan. The purpose of these bilingual (English/Spanish) workshops is to provide training and education to increase access to FSA programs and services.

This program will address some of the concerns expressed by small growers about the limited access they have to programs and services offered by the FSA in Michigan. Some of the reasons growers are giving for not accessing FSA programs and services include the complex nature of its programs, too many complex forms to fill out that are difficult to complete, and unawareness of specific requirements they need to meet in order to access the FSA programs available to them.

Some of the requirements growers need to meet include issues related to conservation compliance, financial education and business management. This series of workshops will help growers understand those requirements and facilitate their access to FSA programs. During these workshops, growers will receive education and information and personalized assistance to meet the requirements to access FSA programs. This includes:

  • Financial Education Related to FSA Farm and Farm Loan programs
  • Conservation Compliance
  • Recordkeeping for Crop Management
  • Farm Management

Also covered will be best management practices to support pollinators in blueberry farms and fruit farms in general.

This program will consist of five, three-hour training sessions offered on Thursdays on Jan. 12, Jan. 26, Feb. 9, Feb. 23 and March 9 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. After training, growers will be able to apply for FSA programs and services available for their crops in their counties or residence.

Who should attend?

  • Small fruit growers with limited resources who want to apply for loans or assistance from FSA’s programs and services.
  • New or beginning farmers interested in accessing programs and services from FSA that may be helpful to them.
  • Those already participating in FSA services and programs who would like to explore other programs or services that may be available to them.

Why should I attend?

  • To learn about the USDA FSA and the services and programs that may be helpful and available to you.
  • To learn about requirements needed to access programs and services from FSA.
  • To receive personalized assistance filling forms and to succeed in obtaining help or services from FSA.

Where will the program be conducted?

Training will be offered at the Conference Room of The Railroad Café, 555 Railroad Street, Bangor, MI 49013.

How do I register?

For complete information on this educational opportunity and to register, visit the event registration site at FSA Outreach Program. Please note that registration is free, but pre-registration is required. Mail-in registration is available via the brochure.

Contact Carlos Garcia at garcias4@msu.edu or 616-994-4545 with questions. You can also view the brochure for mail-in registration or for more information.

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