April 01, 2010

Crapo Highlights Availability Of Farm Trade Assistance

April 14 is Petition Deadline for Farm Groups Affected by Increased Imports

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee's Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness, noted that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is currently accepting petitions from agricultural groups to access technical assistance and benefits to address impacts from imports.

"Idaho farm families produce an abundance of high-quality food that nourishes not only Idahoans but families across the nation and around the world," said Crapo. "There are many benefits to foreign trade, and Idaho agriculture competes successfully in world markets. However, there are times when, unfortunately, U.S. producers are negatively impacted by imports. This program helps ensure the continued competitiveness of U.S. producers in times of economic uncertainty."

The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Farmers program, modified and extended by Congress last year, provides technical assistance and benefits to eligible agricultural producers and fishermen who have been negatively affected by increased imports. To be eligible, affected agricultural groups must submit petitions to FAS by the April 14, 2010 deadline. FAS will review the petitions to determine groups' eligibility. If the petition is certified, producers will then have 90 days to apply for assistance through their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) Service Center.

Through the TAA for Farmers program, eligible producers may receive technical training to assist with developing and implementing business plans, a maximum $4,000 for implementing an approved Initial Business Plan, and an additional up to $8,000 for developing an approved Long-Term Business Plan.

More information regarding the TAA for Farmers program, forms for filing a petition for certification and producer applications can be accessed through the following link: http://www.fas.usda.gov/itp/taa/taa.asp