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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced an investment in two outreach and education initiatives for farmers and ranchers, including industry newcomers as well as those belonging to marginalized and underserved groups; a recent news release from the department said.
The USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) is spending $4.5 million on outreach for the Conservation Reserve Program's Transition Incentives Program. The program assists beginner and marginalized farmers and ranchers in gaining land access. The FSA is also spending $10 million on agriculture-centric taxpayer education. Both initiatives are designed to enhance access to USDA programs while promoting equity.
“First, filing taxes for an agricultural operation can be challenging and many agricultural producers may not have the funds to hire accountants or tax professionals to assist, especially for new and historically underserved producers,” Gloria Montaño Greene, deputy under secretary for Farm Production and Conservation, said in the release. “This new initiative offers support to producers in navigating tax season. Second, we want to make sure producers are aware of our many program options, and Conservation Reserve Program Transition Incentives Program (CRP TIP) provides a unique opportunity for producers with expiring CRP land to help bring new farmers into the fold.”
The FSA is also investing in partnerships with entities such as the University of Arkansas and the National Farm Income Tax Extension Committee to develop and extend taxpayer education to producers, the release said. Those entities are planning for the creation of an online library of resources for producers.
“Many rural areas lack legal and certified accounting services, and agricultural producers need additional knowledge and/or resources to integrate tax planning into their financial planning,” Ronald L. Rainey, assistant vice president of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said in the release. “This partnership will help the University of Arkansas and USDA work together to overcome inequalities in tax services to serve agriculture communities.”
Producers interested in CRP TIP and other USDA programs can contact their local USDA Service Center for more information.