Helping Produce Businesses in Many Ways
Accurate and timely information, access to new markets, and financial protection are critical to the success of any business. In the produce industry, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provides services to cover all three of these items.
By providing current price and volume information, AMS Market News helps produce businesses, transportation companies, and others make informed decisions. In response to user requests, we created the Custom Average Tool (CAT). This new tool makes it easy to view average price trends over a period of time, select a range of data desired, download data in a spreadsheet, and much more. Choosing which varieties or products to carry and what the price levels might be at a given time of year are easier for a wholesaler to determine when they can easily visualize average price trends compared to movement in a dashboard. The CAT is now prominently displayed on our Fruit and Vegetable Market News Portal.
Read more: http://blogs.usda.gov/2013/04/22/helping-produce-businesses-in-many-ways/.
Census Provides Opportunity to Grow the Future of Agriculture
The 2012 Census of Agriculture, the only source of consistent and comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county in the nation, is currently being mailed to millions of farmers and ranchers across the United States. Conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the Census provides detailed data covering nearly every facet of U.S. agriculture. It looks at land use and ownership, production practices, expenditures and other factors that affect the way farmers do business and succeed in the 21st Century. Read more: http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/USDAOC-62d229.
2012 Census of Agriculture Provides Producers Thanks and Hope this Holiday
As our nation’s farm families gather this Thanksgiving to count their many blessings and reflect on this year’s harvest, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) urges producers to ensure their farm or ranch is also counted in the 2012 Census of Agriculture. The Census is a crucial tool that provides farmers with a voice in the future of their community and operation. To read more go to: http://blogs.usda.gov/2012/11/20/2012-census-of-agriculture-provides-producers-thanks-and-hope-this-holiday/.
USDA Urges Holiday Shoppers to Sample Local Businesses
Saturday, November 24, 2012 is Small Business Saturday. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, in partnership with the White House and the Small Business Administration, proudly supports this important effort by asking everyone to shop at small businesses whenever possible. Presently, there are 28 million small businesses throughout the United States, representing 44 percent of U.S. private sector payroll. These small businesses also create 2 out of every 3 new American jobs. Read more here: http://blogs.usda.gov/2012/11/21/usda-business-administrator-urges-holiday-shoppers-to-sample-local-businesses/.
USDA Delivers Funding for Hurricane Sandy Recovery Projects in 11 States
As part of federal efforts to provide necessary support to those affected by Hurricane Sandy, the Agriculture Secretary announced that USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has provided $5.3 million in Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program funds to 11 states affected by the storm. EWP—an emergency recovery program—responds to emergencies created by natural disasters by helping people relieve imminent hazards to life and property. To read more click here: http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/USDAOC-5baa28.
Drought and Drought Assistance
Throughout much of the country, communities are struggling with one of the worst droughts to strike the U.S. in decades. The lack of rain and high temperatures have done considerable damage to crops — particularly those in the Midwest. USDA and other federal agencies are taking steps to help farmers, ranchers, and small businesses wrestling with this crisis. To read more about resources and information related to the current drought crisis from across the Government go to: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=DISASTER_ASSISTANCE.
No drought aid for farmers, ranchers as Congress breaks for summer
Congress adjourned for the summer on Thursday without passing a relief package for farmers and ranchers suffering through the most widespread drought since the 1930s. Congress has agreed to take the issue up again after Labor Day. Most farmers devastated by the drought are getting help from federally assisted insurance policies. But a number of livestock producers are in serious trouble. Why? A decision by Congress four years ago to pass a five-year farm bill that eliminated key federal livestock support programs in 2012 instead of 2013. To read more go to: http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/02/politics/congress-drought-aid/index.html.
Join the SBDC at UNF at the Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprise Conference!
As part of the “Business of Farming” track the SBDC at UNF will be presenting on two workshops at the UF/IFAS Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprise Conference on July 28th in Kissimmee.
Track description: You know how to grow vegetables but can you grow your farm business? In the ‘Business of Farming’ session you will learn how to produce profits through strategic planning and break even analysis. By the end of this session you will also understand how to assess the internal strengths and weaknesses of your farm. This informative session will also cover estate planning so you can remain financially secure once you make that big decision step down. So whether you’re just starting out or thinking about passing down your farm, the ‘Business of Farming’ will provide you with the tools to help grow, expand or pass down your family farm.
Click here for more information and to register: http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/smallfarms/index.html.
SBDC at UNF hires Cheryl Lynch as Business Analyst
The Small Business Development Center at UNF (SBDC at UNF), the state’s principal source for small business assistance in North Florida, is pleased to announce that Cheryl Lynch has been hired as a Business Analyst. Lynch will provide confidential consulting and training to small business owners at the new SBDC office in Putnam County. In her new role at the SBDC at UNF, Lynch will work one on one with clients who are interested in starting or who already own a small business. She will work primarily out of the SBDC office at the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce located at 1100 Reid Street in Palatka. The office officially opened on March 28. Businesses who are interested in setting up a time to meet with Lynch can call 386.328.3293. The new SBDC office in Putnam County is made possible through support from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the University of North Florida, the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, Board of County Commissioners, City of Palatka, and the Putnam County Development Authority.
More Young People See Opportunities in Farming
From a Wisconsin factory worker becoming a dairy farmer to a nuclear engineer getting into cattle ranching in Texas there are signs that more people in their 20s and 30s are going into farming. Enrollment in university agriculture programs has increased, as has interest in farmer-training programs. Young people are turning up at farmers markets and are using social media to promote their agricultural endeavors and they are citing two reasons for going into farming: Many find the corporate world stifling and see no point in sticking it out when there’s little job security; and demand for locally grown and organic foods has been strong enough that even in the downturn they feel confident they can sell their products. Agriculture fared better than many parts of the economy during the recession, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts record profits for farmers as a whole this year. Read more here: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/story/2011-12-24/young-people-farming/52163914/1.