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.
Drought loans available to South Texas agricultural producers
September 9, 2014
EDINBURG: "Agricultural producers who suffered drought losses in 2013 are urged to apply for disaster emergency loans as soon as possible," said a Prairie View A&M University-Extension agent and farm adviser for Hidalgo County.
"Producers who have lost at least 30 percent of their production or suffered production losses caused by drought between April 1, 2013 and Oct. 31, 2013, are eligible for emergency loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency," said Vidal Saenz, who manages the Small Farm Outreach Training and Technical Assistance Program, administered by the Cooperative Extension Program at Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas.
"Farmers or ranchers can contact me in Edinburg for assistance in applying for these loans," Saenz said. Saenz has been helping farmers apply for loans since 1994, processing more than 700 loan applications totaling nearly $100 million.
The maximum amount of direct emergency loans can be equal to the losses, minus proceeds from crop insurance and/or hazard insurance, Saenz said.
Producers in Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, Willacy and Zapata counties are eligible for the loans. Arnulfo Lerma, FSA farm loan manager in Edinburg, urges producers to submit their applications as soon as possible.
"We hope farmers will get their applications in early rather than waiting until near the deadline, which is Dec. 23," he said. "The longer they wait, the more chance there is for long delays. If the applications come in early, we can avoid backlogs and speed up the process."
For more information, or to set up an appointment for assistance in applying for a loan, contact Saenz at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office at 956-383-1026.
Writer: Rod Santa Ana, 956-878-8317, email@example.com Contact: Vidal Saenz, 956-383-1026, firstname.lastname@example.org
Livestock Producers Urged to Enroll in Disaster Assistance Program by Oct. 1
Congressionally Mandated Payment Reductions to Take Effect at Beginning of New Fiscal Year
Ranchers Applying for LFP Support Who Have Scheduled Appointments by Sept. 30th Will not be Impacted
WASHINGTON, Sept. 2, 2014 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014, as congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date. Livestock producers that have experienced grazing losses since October 2011 and may be eligible for benefits but have not yet contacted their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office should do so as soon as possible.
The Budget Control Act passed by Congress in 2011 requires USDA to implement reductions of 7.3 percent to the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) in the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, 2014. However, producers seeking LFP support who have scheduled appointments with their local FSA office before Oct. 1, even if the appointment occurs after Oct.1, will not see reductions in the amount of disaster relief they receive.
USDA is encouraging producers to register, request an appointment or begin a Livestock Forage Disaster Program application with their county FSA office before Oct. 1, 2014, to lock in the current zero percent sequestration rate. As an additional aid to qualified producers applying for LFP, the Farm Service's Agency has developed an online registration that enables farmers and ranchers to put their names on an electronic list before the deadline to avoid reductions in their disaster assistance. This is an alternative to visiting or contacting the county office. To place a name on the Livestock Forage Disaster Program list online, visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov/disaster-register.
Producers who already contacted the county office and have an appointment scheduled need do nothing more.
"In just four months since disaster assistance enrollments began, we've processed 240,000 applications to help farmers and ranchers who suffered losses," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Eligible producers who have not yet contacted their local FSA office should stop by or call their local FSA office, or sign up online before Oct. 1 when congressionally mandated payment reductions take effect. This will ensure they receive as much financial assistance as possible."
The Livestock Indemnity Program, the Tree Assistance Program and the Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program Frost Freeze payments will also be cut by 7.3 percent on Oct. 1, 2014. Unlike the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, applications for these programs must be fully completed by Sept. 30. FSA offices will prioritize these applications, but as the full application process can take several days or more to complete, producers are encouraged to begin the application process as soon as possible.
The Livestock Forage Disaster Program compensates eligible livestock producers who suffered grazing losses due to drought or fire between Oct. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2014. Eligible livestock includes alpacas, beef cattle, buffalo, beefalo, dairy cattle, deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, llamas, poultry, reindeer, sheep or swine that have been or would have been grazing the eligible grazing land or pastureland. Producers forced to liquidate their livestock may also be eligible for program benefits.
Additionally, the 2014 Farm Bill eliminated the risk management purchase requirement. Livestock producers are no longer required to purchase coverage under the federal crop insurance program or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program to be eligible for Livestock Forage Disaster Program assistance.
The Livestock Forage Disaster Program was made possible through the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.
Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC)
June 20, 2014
Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) in Texas Update
The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has received confirmation of an additional case of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) in a horse in Nueces County in South Texas. The premise is located 10 miles south of Mathis, TX. To date, 6 premises in four Texas counties have been confirmed with VS.
History: On May 28, the TAHC announced confirmation of the nation's first case of VS this year in Kinney County, TX (southeast of Del Rio.)
Two additional cases of VS in horses in Hidalgo County in South Texas were announced last week. One premises was located approximately 24 miles northwest of Edinburg. The other premise was located three miles northwest of Edinburg.
On June 17, two new cases of VS were confirmed in horses in San Patricio County in South Texas. One premises is located approximately 7 ½ miles southeast of Mathis. The other premise is located approximately 7 miles southeast of Mathis.
All VS cases tested positive for the New Jersey serotype. The newly identified infected premise is currently under quarantine by the TAHC. Affected horses will be monitored by regulatory veterinarians while under quarantine. Premises are eligible for quarantine release 21 days after all lesions have healed. There is no known exposure to other horses around the state, or at any equine events.
Several states have provided the TAHC with information on enhanced entry requirements they are imposing on Texas livestock (including horses) due to the recently announced VS cases in Texas. For information about these movement restrictions, contact the state or country of destination.
For additional information call 512-719-0700 or contact your local TAHC region office.
Founded in 1893, the Texas Animal Health Commission works to protect the health of all Texas livestock, including: cattle, swine, poultry, sheep, goats, equine animals, and exotic livestock. The TAHC strives to keep Texas' livestock disease free, ultimately allowing for better marketability and commerce.
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USDA Farm Service Agency Microloan Program
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.