Thanks to Jessica Claypole of the Missouri Farm Service Agency for this article. I hope it gives you some ideas of where you can go when you need assistance.
Agriculture has always been a way of life for Tanner Pace, a Howell County, Missouri-native.
“I have been involved in agriculture in depth ever since I was a young teenager, helping put up hay in the summers and helping work the cattle whenever needed,” Tanner said. “I knew that I would be a farmer of some kind because that is what my dad had taught me and that is what his dad had taught him, so it’s just in our blood.”
After graduating from Missouri State University with a bachelor’s degree in business, Tanner decided he wanted to return to the farm to carry on the legacy.
Land, Storage & Managing Risk
Tanner took advantage of the direct farm ownership loan program through the Farm Service Agency to purchase land to start his own cow/calf operation. He also grows alfalfa, wheat, fescue and Sudan hay that is harvested into square bales and sold to local buyers. For this component of his operation, Tanner utilized Farm Service Agency’s Farm Storage Facility Loan program to build a hay barn to store his bales. This program provides low-interest financing for producers to store, handle and/or transport eligible commodities they produce.
To help manage risk with his alfalfa crop, Tanner also participates in FSA’s Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, which provides financial assistance to producers of noninsurable crops to protect against natural disasters that result in lower yields, crop losses, or prevents crop planting.
“All three of these programs have made a significant impact on my operation because they help me afford land payments and storage for crops taken off of that land,” Tanner said.
Help When Needed
A flood in the spring of 2017 proved costly for Tanner’s operation, wiping out most of the fences and washing debris downstream across much of his farm. He turned to his local FSA office for help, in the form of the Emergency Conservation Program, which provides funding and technical assistance to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters.
“The assistance from FSA helped out tremendously because it helped me bear some of the costs that were associated with fences that were completely leveled or absent,” Tanner said. “It also helped bear the cost of the debris removal.”
Based on his experience participating in multiple programs and working with his local FSA office, Tanner encourages fellow producers to take advantage of the benefits offered through USDA.
“These programs have helped me cultivate my operation into what it is today,” he said. “I couldn’t be more grateful.”
For more information about USDA programs and services, contact your local USDA service center.
These programs are designed to help farmers be successful to support food security and a healthy environment for U.S. citizens. We hope they’re helpful to you!
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