Wednesday, October 22, 2014
   
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TIP to connect retiring farmers with beginners/socially disadvantaged

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan has announced the Transition Incentives Program (TIP)—a new program under the Conservation Title of the 2008 Farm Bill—to encourage retired or retiring owners or operators to transition their land to beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers.

“Ensuring that our nation’s land is returned to production using sustainable methods is critical not only for our future food supply, but also for the economic future of our rural communities,” said Merrigan. “Access to land is one of the greatest challenges faced by new farmers. The Transition Incentives Program is one more tool in the USDA toolkit to protect family farms and support beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers.”

Effective May 17, producers who want to apply for the TIP can start signing up. If all program requirements are met, TIP provides annual rental payments to the retiring farmer for up to two additional years after the date of the expiration of the CRP contract, provided the transition is not to a family member.

To learn more about program, producers interested in applying and participating in TIP should visit their USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office or click here.

To be eligible, TIP requires that the retired or retiring farmer or rancher:

Have land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) that is in the last year of the contract.

Agree to allow the beginning or socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher make conservation and land improvements.

Agree to sell, or have a contract to sell, or agree to long-term lease (a minimum of 5 years) the land under CRP contract to a beginning or socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher by Oct. 1 of the year the CRP contract expires.