Thank you for visiting our web site. We hope that you will find it informative and helpful. Please check back periodically for upcoming TMBC events as well as program information and reminders.
The Texas/Mexico Border Coalition is a Community-based Organization. The purpose of the Coalition is to establish and maintain the health, social, environmental, and economic integrity and survival of small, rural communities along the Texas-Mexico border.
QUICK GLANCE see Upcoming Events for more details.
TITLE: West Nueces Las Moras Soil & Water Conservation District Annual Shared Program and Luncheon
DATE: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 8:30 AM
PLACE: Kinney County Civic Center
CONTACT INFO: Kinney A&M AgriLife Extension Service (830) 563-2414
TITLE: Chagas Disease Seminar
DATE: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 10:00 AM
PLACE: Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Center, Kingsville, Texas 78363
CONTACT INFO: Register Today! at (361) 348-3020
USDA Enhances Farm Storage Facility Loan Program
WASHINGTON, March 10, 2014 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the expansion of the Farm Storage and Facility Loan program, which provides low-interest financing to producers. The enhanced program includes 23 new categories of eligible equipment for fruit and vegetable producers, and makes it easier for farmers and ranchers around the country to finance the equipment they need to grow and expand.
Producers with small and mid-sized operations, and specialty crop fruit and vegetable growers, now have access to needed capital for a variety of supplies including sorting bins, wash stations and other food safety-related equipment. A new more flexible alternative is also provided for determining storage needs for fruit and vegetable producers, and waivers are available on a case-by-case basis for disaster assistance or insurance coverage if available products are not relevant or feasible for a particular producer.
Additionally, Farm Storage and Facility Loans security requirements have been eased for loans between $50,000 and $100,000. Previously, all loans in excess of $50,000 required a promissory note and additional security, such as a lien on real estate. Now loans up to $100,000 can be secured by only a promissory note.
“The Farm Storage and Facility Loan program has helped American farmers and ranchers to finance on-farm storage for almost 13 years,” said Farm Service Agency Administrator (FSA), Juan M. Garcia. “We anticipate these changes will increase the number of individuals who qualify for these loans and help them access new market opportunities.”
The low-interest funds can be used to build or upgrade permanent facilities to store commodities. Eligible commodities include grains, oilseeds, peanuts, pulse crops, hay, honey, renewable biomass commodities, fruits and vegetables. Qualified facilities include grain bins, hay barns and cold storage facilities for fruits and vegetables.
Other new changes to the Farm Storage and Facility Loan program will allow FSA State Committees to subordinate Commodity Credit Corporation’s lien position.
These changes to the program were issued via an official notice to state and county Farm Service Agency offices and are effective immediately.
More than 33,000 loans have been issued for on-farm storage, increasing grain storage capacity by 900 million bushels since May 2000.
More information about tools and resources available to small and mid-sized farmers will be rolled out in the coming months, including information about access to capital, risk management, food safety, and locating market opportunities on USDA's Small and Mid-Sized Farmer Resources webpage.
Visit www.fsa.usda.gov or an FSA county office to learn more about FSA programs and loans, including the Farm Storage Facility Loan Program.
Applications for Conservation Programs Being Accepted at NRCS Offices Statewide
TEMPLE, Nov. 26, 2013— Applications for funding opportunities with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) are currently being accepted at all NRCS offices across Texas.
NRCS in Texas has received its initial allocation of EQIP and WHIP funding for 2014 and will begin ranking and obligating contracts after January 17, 2014. All agriculture producers interested in submitting a contract application for 2014 should do so before this ranking deadline.
EQIP and WHIP are continuous sign-up programs that allow landowners or operators to apply for financial and technical assistance for the application of specific conservation practices; but the deadline for the first 2014 funding allocation is January 17, 2014. Contracts are offered periodically depending on budgetary allocations. Applications made after the deadline will be considered in the next funding cycle. Higher priority will be given to those applications that address national, state and local priorities and provide higher cost efficiency.
EQIP offers technical and financial help to install or implement structural, vegetative, and management practices that can benefit the soil, water, air, plants, livestock, and wildlife. WHIP applications must address traditional natural resource issues such as water quantity, water quality, grazing lands, forest health, soil management, emerging natural resource issues, and climate change.
Each county in the state is funded yearly to assist producers financially with these land management practices.
Last year, NRCS in Texas funded over 4,500 EQIP contracts with $91 million to accomplish conservation practices such as irrigation efficiency, minimum tillage, brush management and more on 3.6 million acres across the entire state. Additionally, NRCS funded 200 WHIP contracts with $7.1 million to improve wildlife habitat on over 380,000 acres in Texas.
In addition to helping our environment, Farm Bill conservation program funds support rural communities. In Texas, it is estimated that each dollar of NRCS and private matching expenditures on NRCS conservation programs generates an additional $2.54 in sales of goods and services locally.
For more information, including eligibility requirements, call the USDA Service Center office serving the county where your land is located. Service center locations and program information can be found on the Texas NRCS Web site at www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov
Emergency loans available for drought-stricken farmers
Microloans up to $35,000 aim to assist small farmers, veterans, and disadvantages producers
WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2013 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a new microloan program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designed to help small and family operations, beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers secure loans under $35,000. The new microloan program is aimed at bolstering the progress of producers through their start-up years by providing needed resources and helping to increase equity so that farmers may eventually graduate to commercial credit and expand their operations. The microloan program will also provide a less burdensome, more simplified application process in comparison to traditional farm loans.
“I have met several small and beginning farmers, returning veterans and disadvantaged producers interested in careers in farming who too often must rely on credit cards or personal loans with high interest rates to finance their start-up operations,” said Vilsack. “By further expanding access to credit to those just starting to put down roots in farming, USDA continues to help grow a new generation of farmers, while ensuring the strength of an American agriculture sector that drives our economy, creates jobs, and provides the most secure and affordable food supply in the world.”
The new microloans, said Vilsack, represent how USDA continues to make year-over-year gains in expanding credit opportunities for minority, socially-disadvantaged and young and beginning farmers and ranchers across the United States. The final rule establishing the microloan program will be published in the Jan. 17 issue of the Federal Register.