Farmers Learn Finances

Regional Director Rockiell Woods is finishing up a series of workshops for Mississippi farmers and ranchers this month, teaching producers about financial opportunities that they might have been unaware of, or that might have seemed unattainable.

The USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers financial assistance to farmers nationwide, but many farmers are either unaware of FSA’s programs or encounter difficulties when trying to apply for assistance. Rockiell partnered with FSA offices across the state to improve producers’ farm finance literacy, to educate producers about the variety of assistance programs available to them, and to help interested farmers complete applications for this assistance.

The material Rockiell and partners from FSA and Extension Service presented was designed to help everyone, and a mix of beginning farmers and those who have been farming for decades turned out for the events. Farmers took away a whole host of new tools in their farm-management toolbox, including information on the benefits of keeping good records, the different programs FSA offers to farmers, and how to plan for the transfer of farmland between generations.

These topics may sound dry, but they can make or break a farm business, and participants praised the presentations. One attendee said he “really enjoyed the farm record-book keeping portion” of the workshop, while another said the workshop was “well-structured and relevant to the filing of an FSA application.” We are confident that the farmers who attended will take the information they gained and put it to work to make their farms more sustainable, profitable, and overall successful than ever before.