AB 2114 To Help Cattle Ranchers

Bill to Help Meat Processing Options

By Tim Hammerich, with the Ag Information Network

Back in 2018, Assembly Bill 2114 allowed cattle ranchers to sell beef that was slaughter on the farm rather than having to take it to a federally inspected facility. This was important because of how few of these facilities are left. Some producers who wanted to sell their beef directly to consumers would have to transport them hours away to get them processed. Now Assembly Bill 888 will do the same for sheep, goats, and potentially swine. This will make a big difference for producers like Marcia Barinaga.

“I sell most of my lambs to people who are buying a whole lamb for their freezer and the most humane and cost-effective way for me to harvest these lambs is to have our local mobile abattoir come to the ranch, slaughter the lambs, and take them then to a custom butcher for cut and wrap. Now that kind of a scenario is legal federally, but California law only allows on ranch slaughter for the owners use,” said Barinaga.

This bill would change that, allowing farmers like Barinaga to sell a limited amount of meat slaughtered on the farm to her customers. She calls it a ‘no brainer’ that just levels the playing field with what’s already legal in beef.

“This bill is just giving those of us who raise sheep, goats, and swine equal status to those who raise beef on a small scale and sell them this way,” Barinaga said.

Assemblyman Marc Levine of Marin County authored the bill, which is endorsed by the California Farm Bureau Federation.

2021-04-27T16:36:28-07:00April 27th, 2021|

USDA Modifies Farm Loan Programs to Give More Opportunity to Producers

Farm Loan Modifications Create Flexibility for Farmers and Ranchers

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack TODAY announced increased opportunity for producers as a result of the 2014 Farm Bill. A fact sheet outlining modifications to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Farm Loan Programs is available here.

“Our nation’s farmers and ranchers are the engine of the rural economy. These improvements to our Farm Loan Programs will help a new generation begin farming and grow existing farm operations,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Today’s announcement represents just one part of a series of investments the new Farm Bill makes in the next generation of agriculture, which is critical to economic growth in communities across the country.”

The Farm Bill expands lending opportunities for thousands of farmers and ranchers to begin and continue operations, including greater flexibility in determining eligibility, raising loan limits, and emphasizing beginning and socially disadvantaged producers.

Changes that will take effect immediately include:

  • Elimination of loan term limits for guaranteed operating loans.
  • Modification of the definition of beginning farmer, using the average farm size for the county as a qualifier instead of the median farm size.
  • Modification of the Joint Financing Direct Farm Ownership Interest Rate to 2 percent less than regular Direct Farm Ownership rate, with a floor of 2.5 percent. Previously, the rate was established at 5 percent.
  • Increase of the maximum loan amount for Direct Farm Ownership down payments from $225,000 to $300,000.
  • Elimination of rural residency requirement for Youth Loans, allowing urban youth to benefit.
  • Debt forgiveness on Youth Loans, which will not prevent borrowers from obtaining additional loans from the federal government.
  • Increase of the guarantee amount on Conservation Loans from 75 to 80 percent and 90 percent for socially disadvantaged borrowers and beginning farmers.
  • Microloans will not count toward loan term limits for veterans and beginning farmers.

Additional modifications must be implemented through the rulemaking processes. Visit the FSA Farm Bill website for detailed information and updates to farm loan programs.

2016-05-31T19:38:07-07:00March 25th, 2014|
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