Eight regional workshops will be conducted at various locations in Iowa over the next several weeks to assist Iowa beginning farmers, transitioning farmers and military veterans. These meetings in March and April of 2016 are being co-hosted and co-sponsored by the following four agencies and organizations.
1) The Iowa Finance Authority is the state agency that handles the Iowa Beginning Farmer Loan Program, which is part of IFA’s Agricultural Development Division.
2) The Iowa Bankers Association and its member banks work with the Iowa Finance Authority in providing loans to beginning farmers.
3) USDA’s Farm Service Agency has loan programs for beginning farmers and returning military veterans who want to get started farming.
4) Veterans in Agriculture is an organization that also assists military veterans looking to enter farming and establish a career in agriculture.
Purpose of these workshops? What can you learn?
“We are most fortunate to have these programs in our state,” says Steve Ferguson, ag program specialist with the Iowa Finance Authority’s Ag Development Division in Des Moines. “There is no charge to attend the upcoming workshops.” Ferguson says you should see the specific location and the map online for directions for each workshop at iowafinanceauthority.gov/iadd. Questions? Send an email to [email protected].
“The purpose of the workshops is to raise awareness of programs that are available which support beginning farmers and military veterans,” says Ferguson. “We will present information and explain the programs and who you should contact if you are interested in applying for a beginning farmer loan or if you just want to learn more about the loan programs and other assistance available.”
Who are the workshops targeted for? Who can attend?
“We’ve held these workshops the past couple of years, and encourage ag lenders, attorney, CPAs, representatives of farm management firms, farm co-op managers, USDA Farm Service Agency staff to attend,” says Ferguson. “Also, beginning and transitioning farmers, military veterans, FFA alumni, and ag students who are wanting to enter farming or agricultural production. Everyone who is interested is welcome to attend and invite others who are interested in these programs and services.”
Agenda for morning workshops, which are a half-day
8:30 to 9:00 a.m. Registration and coffee
9:00 to 9:30 a.m. Farm Service Agency beginning farmer programs
9:30 to 10:00 a.m. Iowa Finance Authority beginning farmer programs
10:00 to 10:15 a.m. Veterans in Agriculture update
10:15 to 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 to 11:00 a.m. Ag lender panel on regional ag topics
11:00 to 11:30 a.m. Questions & Answers
11:30 a.m. Adjourn with regional FFA alumni and military veteran committee meetings being held
“The assistance and support provided by the eight community college workshop hosts are sincerely appreciated,” says Ferguson.
City, locations, dates of workshops and deadline to email RSVP
Calmar, Northeast Iowa Community College, March 3 is workshop, deadline to email RSVP is March 2.
Emmetsburg, Iowa Lakes Community College, March 8 is workshop, deadline to email RSVP is March 7
Ankeny, Des Moines Area Community College, March 10 is workshop, deadline to email RSVP is March 9
Ottumwa, Indian Hills Community College, March 31 is workshop, deadline to email RSVP is March 30
Mason City, North Iowa Community College, April 8 is workshop, deadline to email RSVP is April 7
Cedar Rapids, Kirkwood Community College, April 12 is workshop, deadline to email RSVP is April 11
Creston, Southwest Iowa Community College, April 14 is workshop, deadline to email RSVP is April 13
Carroll, Des Moines Area Community College, April 15 is workshop, deadline to email RSVP is April 14
The Iowa Ag Development Authority was established by the Iowa General Assembly in 1980 to provide financial assistance to Iowa’s grain and livestock producers, says Ferguson. Operating expenses for the IADD are derived from modest application and service fees paid by Iowa beginning farmer loan program participants. The IADD also earns interest from a trust fund, but it does not receive any state tax dollars.