Julia A. Wickard, Executive Director of USDA's Farm Service Agency in Indiana announced recently that USDA has a revised Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers (TAAF) Program.
Under the program, the USDA provides technical assistance and cash benefits to eligible producers of raw agricultural commodities and fishermen who have been hurt by import competition.
According to Wickard, the TAAF program is for producers and fishermen who had greater than a 15 percent decrease in national average price; quantity of production; the value of production; or in cash receipts compared to the average of the three preceding years where it is determined that an increase in imports was a significant factor.
"This program is an opportunity for producers to use the cash payment to develop and implement Business Adjustment Plans for their farming or fishing operations," Wickard said.
The program will be administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), however USDA's Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) will determine if a commodity is eligible for the program.
Three or more producers or a commodity organization may request, on behalf of producers in their state or group of states, that a commodity be certified as eligible by submitting form FAS-930, Petition for Certification.
FAS will review commodity petitions from March 1-April 14. The form is available online at www.fas.usda.gov/itp/taa/taaforms.asp.
Producers of a certified commodity may apply for benefits under the TAAF Program by submitting a written application (FSA-229-1) to their local FSA Service Center once their commodity is eligible.
The application form is available at FSA offices or online at www.fas.usda.gov/itp/taa/taaforms.asp. Applicants should check eligibility requirements in the Federal Register notice to determine if their commodity has been certified.
For more information, visit www.fas.usda.gov/itp/taa, or contact the TAA for Farmers Program Staff, Office of Trade Programs, at 202-720-0638, 202-690-0633, or by e-mail at email@example.com.