Group Offers Assistance for Farmers and Ranchers

Farm bill guide and helpline recent additions to repertoire of The Center for Rural Affairs.

A wheat farmer checks the market on his laptop computer.

A wheat farmers checks the market on his laptop computer.

iStockphoto.com/Pattie Calfy

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Lyons, Nebraska – The Center for Rural Affairs recently released its farm bill guide, Farm Bill Programs for You and Your Community. The guide is designed to provide farmers and ranchers information on farm bill programs that can help them get started in farming or ranching, establish high-value niche markets, implement  conservation-based farming or ranching systems as well as transition to organic farming or ranching.

The comprehensive guide provides information on 23 different farm bill programs that are targeted to help farmers, ranchers and rural people across the country. There are five conservation programs, six credit and land access programs, five rural development and local food programs, two research programs, three horticulture and organic programs, and two risk management and outreach programs. Perhaps even more valuable for users is the resource section at the end of the guide. It includes state-by-state contacts for government agencies, nonprofits and others in the know about how programs can be accessed in each state.

The center is also operating a Farm Bill Helpline where producers can call in and receive assistance in accessing farm bill programs.

"The Center for Rural Affairs has a long history of assisting family farmers and ranchers to access farm bill programs," says Traci Bruckner with the Center for Rural Affairs. "Through our helpline you will get to speak to a real person who is knowledgeable about the program rules to help you understand how to participate in the program."

The Farm Bill Helpline is also intended as a source for farmers and ranchers to call if they encounter barriers when applying for these programs. "The only way we can truly know how these programs are being put into practice on the ground is to learn from the farmers and ranchers who apply for them," Bruckner says.

Producers can call (402) 687-2100 and ask for the Farm Bill Helpline. For more information and to download the full guide, visit the website.