Scott Mulhauser/Erin Shields
Baucus Hails Start of Program to Help Farmers
Finance Chairman Championed Assistance for Ranchers, Farmers as Part of Trade Adjustment Assistance Reauthorization
Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) welcomed the start of a program this week to help America’s ranchers and farmers, created as part of his Trade Adjustment Assistance Reauthorization bill. The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Farmers program, which began accepting applications this week for fiscal year 2011, provides technical assistance and cash benefits to U.S. ranchers, farmers and fishermen who have been adversely affected by increased foreign competition.
“We’ve worked hard to help America’s farmers, ranchers and fishermen get the tools and resources they need to stay competitive in the global marketplace,” Baucus said. “While the United States produces the highest quality agricultural products in the world, imports can put pressure on our domestic production. The TAA for Farmers program gives our producers the help they need to improve their business and create jobs here at home.”
Baucus championed the expansion of Trade Adjustment Assistance, including this program for farmers, as part of last year’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which administers the TAA for Farmers program through the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), announced this week that the program is open to applicants across the country until July 16, 2010.
U.S. agricultural producers and fishermen may be eligible for assistance from this program if their crops have experienced more than a 15 percent decrease in the national average price, the production quantity or production value of the commodity because of competition created by foreign trade. The decrease in price, quantity or value must be benchmarked against the averages of the past three years.
Qualifying U.S. agricultural producers and fishermen are eligible for training, which includes help in developing a business plan to adjust to market conditions, and up to $12,000 in cash benefits to help producers implement their business plans. Benefits applied for during this period will be provided in the 2011 fiscal year.
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