What's up at the FSA Office?

Jeremy Leitz

by Jeremy Leitz, Allamakee County Executive Director (563) 568-2148

Meet the new County Executive Director
Jeremy Leitz is the new County Executive Director (CED) for the Allamakee FSA office.  Jeremy was born and raised just down Highway 9 in Cresco.  He graduated from Upper Iowa University with a BS degree in Conservation Management, and received a MS degree in Environmental Studies from Bemidji State University.  After receiving his BS degree, Jeremy and his wife Maria (also from Cresco) served 2 years in the US Peace Corps, stationed in the Dominican Republic.    Upon completing his MS degree Jeremy worked as a State Park Planner for the WIDNR, and then spent almost 11 years working for the Coastal Fisheries Division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, where he was most recently the Team Lead for Policy and Outreach.  Jeremy and his wife have two young daughters: Evon, age 10, and Myla, age 7.  Jeremy is excited to be the new Allamakee CED, and his family is happy to call beautiful NE Iowa home again.
Enrollment Period for 2017 Safety Net Coverage
Producers on farms with base acres under the safety net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill, known as the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, can visit their local FSA office to sign contracts and enroll for the 2017 crop year. The enrollment period will continue until Aug. 1, 2017.

Since shares and ownership of a farm can change year-to-year, producers on the farm must enroll by signing a contract each program year.

If a farm is not enrolled during the 2017 enrollment period, the producers on that farm will not be eligible for financial assistance from the ARC or PLC programs for the 2017 crop should crop prices or farm revenues fall below the historical price or revenue benchmarks established by the program. Producers who made their elections in 2015 must still enroll during the 2017 enrollment period.  The ARC and PLC programs were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and offer a safety net to agricultural producers when there is a substantial drop in prices or revenues for covered commodities. For more details regarding these programs, go to www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc, or visit your local FSA office.
USDA Makes it Easier to Transfer Land to the Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering an early termination opportunity for certain Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts, making it easier to transfer property to the next generation of farmers and ranchers, including family members. The land that is eligible for the early termination is among the least environmentally sensitive land enrolled in CRP.

Normally if a landowner terminates a CRP contract early, they are required to repay all previous payments plus interest. The new policy waives this repayment if the land is transferred to a beginning farmer or rancher through a sale or lease with an option to buy.

With CRP enrollment close to the Congressionally-mandated cap of 24 million acres, the early termination will also allow USDA to enroll other land with higher conservation value elsewhere.

Acres terminated early from CRP under these land tenure provisions will be eligible for priority enrollment consideration into the CRP Grasslands, if eligible; or the Conservation Stewardship Program or Environmental Quality Incentives Program, as determined by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

According to the Tenure, Ownership and Transition of Agricultural Land survey, conducted by USDA in 2014, U.S. farmland owners expect to transfer 93 million acres to new ownership during 2015-2019. This represents 10 percent of all farmland across the nation.

Details on the early termination opportunity will be available starting on Jan. 9, 2017, at local USDA service centers. For more information about CRP and to find out if your acreage is eligible for early contract termination, contact your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office or go online at www.fsa.usda.gov/crp.
Sign Up to Receive Text Messages from FSA Office
The FSA has recently expanded their outreach capabilities to include text messages.  No more than two texts per month will be sent, and will include information on program reminders, signup deadlines, and other critical information.  To sign up to receive messages from the Allamakee Co FSA office, text IAAllamakee to 372669 (FSANOW).  Standard text message and data rates apply.