Access to Efficiency: Soil Health Cuts Carbon and Input Costs

September 19, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy, & Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Coordinator It’s the second day of Climate Week NYC, an event dedicated to keeping climate action at the top of the global agenda, making the discussion of agriculture and sustainability particularly apropos. Farmers and ranchers maintain vast potential to mitigate … Read More

What Do Farmers Need to Know About Climate Change? Low-Carbon Transportation Future

September 18, 2017Climate Column

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy This week is Climate Week in New York City. Georgetown Climate Center invited me to represent National Farmers Union (NFU) to their Low-Carbon Transportation Policy Symposium, where I’ll discuss business opportunities in low-carbon transportation. Producers and rural communities will benefit from expanded use of biofuels … Read More

From the Field: Put Your Head Down and Keep Going

September 14, 2017From the Field

By Matt Perdue, NFU Government Relations Representative The harvest season is a special time of year for farmers. It’s their opportunity to, quite literally, reap the rewards of months spent working long hours in the fields, nervously tracking weather patterns, and precariously balancing finances. But for many farms across the drought-stricken Upper Great Plains, 2017 … Read More

Access to Credit: FSA Direct Farm Operating Loans

September 7, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Natalie Grote, NFU Intern Last week on the Beginning Farmer Forum, we discussed why microloans are a compelling alternative to traditional loans for beginning farmers and ranchers. However, for some producers, more traditional Farm Service Agency (FSA) loans may make sense. FSA offers a number of loan options, including direct farm operating loans and direct farm ownership loans, … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Energy Efficiency

September 5, 2017Climate Column

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy Farmers and ranchers are in a unique position to help address climate change. Using practices like conservation tillage and forage management, farmers can help the soil they work and plants they grow take greenhouse gasses out of the atmosphere, preventing them from interfering with the … Read More

From the Field: Farmers Are the Original Conservationists

August 30, 2017From the Field

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy Farmers are the original conservationists, and no one knows the soil that sustains us better than the farmers who work it. Family farmers have a strong partner in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in supporting and coordinating efforts to protect our environment and shared … Read More

Access to Capital: FSA Microloans

August 29, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), as a lender of first opportunity, has expanded its support of beginning farmers and farmers participating in emerging markets by offering microloans. These loans were first introduced in 2013 and were specifically authorized in the 2014 … Read More

What Do Farmers Need to Know About Climate Change? Cover Crops and Crop Insurance

August 28, 2017Climate Column

By Matt Perdue, NFU Government Relations Representative Previous Climate Column posts have discussed how cover crops help farmers and ranchers adapt to and mitigate climate change. Planting cover crops can improve soil health and water quality, optimize water use, increase productivity, decrease input costs, and reduce carbon emissions. As cover crops grow in popularity, it’s crucial to … Read More

Access to Efficiency: Resource Stewardship Evaluation

August 22, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy National Farmers Union’s other weekly blog, the Climate Column, has highlighted the value of conservation planning, which assists with the selection and implementation of practices that address specific conservation concerns, such as pest management, biodiversity, or soil health. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) … Read More

Access to Capital: FSA Loan Servicing

August 16, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy  In Fiscal Year 2016, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) issued 29,602 direct loans to farmers and ranchers totaling $2.39 billion. Of those, almost 17,800 were allocated to beginning producers. The proportion of loans to beginning producers is high because in many cases, FSA is the … Read More