2008 Farm Bill Educational Sessions Planned

posted on December 2, 2008 6:45am

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EAST LANSING, Mich.—The passage of each Farm Bill brings new programs and opportunities for American farmers. The 2008 Farm Bill has 15 titles, new programs and a new twist on existing programs. To help Michigan farmers learn more about the Farm Bill, Michigan State University (MSU) Extension is offering a free educational program at multiple locations across the state during December and January.

  The sessions will be held Dec. 10 at the Ingham County Fairgrounds in Mason;  Dec. 11 at Kalamazoo Valley Community College‚Äôs M-Tec auditorium, Kalamazoo; Dec. 16 at the Allegan County Human Services Building, Allegan; Dec. 18 at the Ionia County MSU Extension office in Ionia; Jan. 15 in Jackson; and Jan. 29 at the Ottawa County Fillmore complex, West Olive. All sessions will run from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

  Like the 2002 Farm Bill, the 2008 legislation offers commodity crop producers the choice of participating in the new Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE)  program or staying with the old DP (Direct Payment) and CCP (Counter Cyclical Payment) programs. 

  It also contains new programs that will benefit fruit and vegetable farms,  including the new Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program. SURE is targeted to all farm types and provides financial revenue in the triggering event of county-declared disasters or if a farm operation has a yield loss greater than 50 percent. Payments for SURE can be as high as 90 percent of expected revenue, depending on crop insurance coverage levels and other factors.

  Presenters include MSU Extension educators including Roger Betz, MSU Extension district farm management educator based in Calhoun County. Representatives from the Farm Service Agency will also be on hand to answer questions.

  The program is free, and no registration is required. To learn more, contact any MSU Extension county office.

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