Alabama farmers need a road map to utilize the many programs under the umbrella of the 2014 Farm Bill. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System has launched a website, www.alabamafarmbill.com, to provide the state’s farmers with information and tools to help them access program information relevant to their agricultural operations. The website is an outgrowth of the Alabama Farm Bill Task Force organized to anticipate, plan, and address 2014 Farm Bill educational needs in Alabama.
Dr. Paul Brown, Alabama Extension associate director, says farmers will need to give careful study and consideration to the new program options of the 2014 Farm Bill, especially related to row-crops and dairy.
“The Alabama Farm Bill Task Force was created to ensure that the state’s farmers have easy access to important and timely information as farm program rules and regulations are developed,” says Brown. “This website acts as a clearinghouse for Farm Bill information provided by USDA agencies and relevant to Alabama.”
The Alabama Farm Bill Task Force is comprised of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the Alabama Farmers Federation and U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies including Farm Services Agency, National Agriculture Statistics Serv ice, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Risk Management Agency, Rural Development and the U.S. Forest Service.[[BLOGVIDEO: //www.youtube.com/embed/Y0LBRDKgMk8?list=UUN2A9Iahwnk16Zj-7aKnrfg]]
AlabamaFarmBill.com is a central location for farmers to keep track of 2014 Farm Bill program developments, including program deadlines and planning tools.
Brown says the website is an important resource to insure the continued success of agriculture in the state.
“Research shows that agriculture and related industries are Alabama’s largest economic engine — generating about $70.4 billion annually,” he says. “Agriculture and forestry together comprise the state’s second largest employer, providing more than 575,000 jobs.
“It is vital that we provide farmers with easy access to information and other resources that enable them to make the correct decisions for their operations. Their contributions to the state’s economy are too important to the economic health of the entire state.
He notes that agriculture and forestry represents 40 percent of the state’s gross domestic product.
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