Women in Ag and Friends News – October 2020

— Written By and last updated by

woman farmer leaning up against a fence

Sure hope you are staying healthy. At the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Franklin County Center, we have been working remotely as well in the office. Clientele are being asked to make appointments before coming to the Extension Center and then the agent can meet you in the lobby, wearing masks and social distancing. This continues to be a trying time with social distancing, wearing masks, and hand washing. There are several programs and updates I want to make you aware of.

GRANT Opportunities

1 – NC AgVentures, is an NC State Extension program that provides grants to North Carolina farmers and Community Groups for new and innovative agricultural project ideas that will increase farm profits. The program, which is supported by the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, will award a minimum of 40 grants to independent family farms. This is a great opportunity for any producer who is thinking of diversifying, improving, or expanding their operation. NC AgVentures will award grants up to $8,000. Deadline for applications is December 18, 2020.

Application information workshops will be offered online. You can participate on your computer, tablet, or phone. The presentation will be the same at all four workshops. You may register for more than one workshop.
Workshop Dates: October 21, November 2, November 19, December 1.
Time: 6 p.m.
Register for AgVentures workshop >>
or go to the NC AgVentures website >>

Take a few minutes and see who received funds and for what projects in the last several years. One requirement is you must work with an agent; if any of you need a support letter or for more information, contact 919-496-3344, or email Martha Mobley, martha_mobley@ncsu.edu.

Several small farmers received grants last year in the County, even the NC Small Farmers Association got funds for a livestock trailer for producers to rent when moving animals. Congratulations to them, a much-needed item for this region.

2. National Grant for Livestock & Poultry Farmers

Livestock and Poultry Fram Grants flyer
Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) is accepting grant applications for livestock and poultry farmers who wish to expand animal welfare, build capacity, and/or improve pasture for their animals. Grants of up to $2,500 are available for projects such as building mobile housing, constructing fences, laying water lines on pasture, and much more. Farmers located in the U.S. who raise beef cattle, bison, broiler chickens, dairy cows, goats, laying hens, pigs, turkeys, and/or sheep may be eligible to apply. For more information, about FACT’s Fund-a-Farmer Grants and to apply online please visit:

Food Animal Concerns Trust Grants webpage >>

Applications are due by December 1, 2020.


Winter Recordkeeping with Quickbooks Classes

I hope the majority of you can get internet service and attend many of these Zoom training sessions. More information coming soon.


Sustainable Agriculture in the Piedmont

Coming this January and February will be a series of workshops via Zoom on Sustainable agriculture in the Piedmont. Please let me know some topics you are interested in learning more about at 919-496-3344, or email Martha Mobley, martha_mobley@ncsu.eduThose are being planned now.


Round 2 of Funding – Additional crops have been added. (Some of you may qualify for this assistance.) See below for details and check with your local Farm Service Agency for details.

USDA to Provide Additional Direct Assistance to Farmers and Ranchers Impacted by the Coronavirus

U.S. Department of Agriculture logo

Expansion of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Begins September 21

USDA to Provide Additional Direct Assistance to Farmers and Ranchers Impacted by the Coronavirus USDA announced up to an additional $14 billion for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. Signup for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) will begin September 21 and run through December 11, 2020.

Background: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will use funds being made available from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and CARES Act to support row crops, livestock, specialty crops, dairy, aquaculture, and many additional commodities. USDA has incorporated improvements in CFAP 2 based from stakeholder engagement and public feedback to better meet the needs of impacted farmers and ranchers. Producers can apply for CFAP 2 at USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices. This program provides financial assistance that gives producers the ability to absorb increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Producers will be compensated for ongoing market disruptions and assisted with the associated marketing costs. CFAP 2 payments will be made for three categories of commodities – Price Trigger Commodities, Flat-rate Crops, and Sales Commodities.

Price Trigger Commodities Price trigger commodities are major commodities that meet a minimum 5-percent price decline over a specified period of time. Eligible price trigger crops include barley, corn, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, upland cotton, and all classes of wheat. Payments will be based on 2020 planted acres of the crop, excluding prevented planting and experimental acres. Payments for price trigger crops will be the greater of: 1) the eligible acres multiplied by a payment rate of $15 per acre; or 2) the eligible acres multiplied by a nationwide crop marketing percentage, multiplied by a crop-specific payment rate, and then by the producer’s weighted 2020 Actual Production History (APH) approved yield. If the APH is not available, 85 percent of the 2019 Agriculture Risk Coverage-County Option (ARC-CO) benchmark yield for that crop will be used. For broilers and eggs, payments will be based on 75 percent of the producers’ 2019 production. Dairy (cow’s milk) payments will be based on actual milk production from April 1 to Aug. 31, 2020. The milk production for Sept. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020, will be estimated by FSA. Eligible beef cattle, hogs and pigs, and lambs and sheep payments will be based on the maximum owned inventory of eligible livestock, excluding breeding stock, on a date selected by the producer, between Apr. 16, 2020, and Aug. 31, 2020. Flat-rate Crops Crops that either do not meet the 5-percent price decline trigger or do not have data available to calculate a price change will have payments calculated based on eligible 2020 acres multiplied by $15 per acre. These crops include alfalfa, extra-long staple (ELS) cotton, oats, peanuts, rice, hemp, millet, mustard, safflower, sesame, triticale, rapeseed, and several others.

Sales Commodities Sales commodities include specialty crops; aquaculture; nursery crops and floriculture; other commodities not included in the price trigger and flat-rate categories, including tobacco; goat milk; mink (including pelts); mohair; wool; and other livestock (excluding breeding stock) not included under the price trigger category that were grown for food, fiber, fur, or feathers. Payment calculations will use a sales-based approach, where producers are paid based on five payment gradations associated with their 2019 sales. Additional commodities are eligible in CFAP 2 that weren’t eligible in the first iteration of the program. If your agricultural operation has been impacted by the pandemic since April 2020, we encourage you to apply for CFAP 2. A complete list of eligible commodities, payment rates, and calculations can be found on farmers.gov/cfap.

Eligibility There is a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities combined. Applicants who are corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships may qualify for additional payment limits when members actively provide personal labor or personal management for the farming operation. In addition, this special payment limitation provision has been expanded to include trusts and estates for both CFAP 1 and 2. Producers will also have to certify they meet the Adjusted Gross Income limitation of $900,000 unless at least 75 percent or more of their income is derived from farming, ranching, or forestry-related activities. Producers must also be in compliance with Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation provisions.

Applying for Assistance Producers can apply for assistance beginning September 21, 2020. Applications will be accepted through December 11, 2020.

Additional information and application forms can be found at the following: USDA Farmers website >>. Documentation to support the producer’s application and certification may be requested. All other eligibility forms, such as those related to adjusted gross income and payment information, can be downloaded from USDA Farmers CFAP forms >>.

For existing FSA customers, including those who participated in CFAP 1, many documents are likely already on file. Producers should check with FSA county office to see if any of the forms need to be updated. Customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages with the team at the FSA county office. All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors are also required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Our program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with our producers in the office, by phone, and using online tools. More information can be found at USDA Farmers Coronavirus info >>.


2020 Sustainable Agriculture Conference

Carolina Farm Stewardship Sustainable Ag Conference logo

Save with Early Bird Registration Today!

Few Days Left for Early Registration – until October 16! Great internet conference!

Have you saved the date for the 2020 Sustainable Agriculture Conference yet? It’s less than two months away! We’re pumped to share what the conference, from November 4–8, 2020, will entail:

  • 50 live-streamed workshops.
  • Featured speakers including K. Rashid Nuri, Chef Njathi Kabui, Nancy Hayden, Julius Tillery, and Germaine Jenkins.
  • Learning for farmers, researchers, extension agents, homesteaders, gardeners, food policymakers, market managers, and more!
  • It’s not just a four-day webinar! In addition to our workshops, you can look forward to:
    • Networking: Interactive opportunities in themed breakout rooms and connecting in 1-on-1 or group chats with fellow attendees.
    • Grow Your Business: Product demos, virtual exhibit hall, and ask-the-expert during session breaks.
    • Fun Sessions: Morning yoga, happy hours, and a virtual animal meet-and-greet for your littlest farmers.
    • Share & Connect: There’s a private social media feed just for SAC! Post photos, comments, and like discussion threads.
  • PLUS: Full access to the library of presentation recordings for a year! You no longer have to choose. Attend as many workshops as you want and re-listen to your favorites.

Save with Early Bird Registration until October 16! Members who register during Early Bird can save up to $75 on their SAC 2020 ticket by Buying their conference ticket today >>.


Are you Certified Organic?

USDA Organic logo

If so, here are some cost-share funds for your operation.

2019-20 NCDA&CS Organic Certification Cost Share Program

Operations that have successfully received their initial USDA organic certification from a USDA-accredited certifying agent or have incurred and paid expenses related to the renewal of their USDA organic certification from a USDA-accredited certifying agent between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020, are eligible to receive reimbursements. Certified organic operations can apply for Cost Share assistance through the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) or at any Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office.

What costs qualify? Allowable expenses include application fees, inspection costs, first-time USDA NOP certification fees, travel costs/per diem for organic inspectors, user fees, sales assessments, and postage.

Late fees, consultant fees,  inspection due to violation of USDA NOP regulation, materials and supplies, equipment, and transitional certifications are not eligible.

How do I apply? Submit your completed application and supporting documentation to NCDA&CS by Friday, November 20, 2020. Incomplete applications will not be processed.

How much am I eligible for? Payments are limited to 50% of an individual producer’s or handler/processor’s certification costs up to a maximum of $500 per certificate or category of certification per year. Expenses related to the certification must have been incurred and paid between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020.

When is the application due? Applications must be postmarked by Friday, November 20, 2020. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-serve basis until funds are depleted.

If I received a payment last year, can I participate this year? Yes

I operate in more than one state. Where do I apply? Apply to the state that appears on your organic certificate.

Where do I send the application? Mail to Heather Barnes, 1020 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1020 or Fax to 919-715-0155 or email to heather.barnes@ncagr.gov.

Take care and be safe… Time to start writing grants!
Martha L. Mobley
Agricultural Extension Agent, Franklin County