USDA allocates $14.5 million for outreach and education programs

The US Department of Agriculture is strengthening its information and education programs for farmers and ranchers. Ten million dollars was set aside for agriculture-oriented taxpayer education and $4.5 million for outreach activities for the Reserve Conservation Program’s Transitional Incentives Program.

CRP TIP programs will help you pProviding access to land for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers to promote equity in USDA programs.

“Running a farm is difficult, and we’re working to help fill the gaps where farmers need assistance,” said Assistant Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Gloria Montaño Greene. “First of all, filing taxes for a farming operation can be challenging. Many agricultural producers may not have the funds to hire accountants or tax professionals to help them, especially for new and historically disadvantaged producers. This new initiative provides support to producers in navigating the tax season. Second, we want to make sure producers are aware of our many program options and the Conservation Reserve Program Transition Incentive Program provides a unique opportunity for producers with lapsed CRP land to help bring new farmers into the fold.”

“Related: USDA is accepting 3.1 million acres in bids for its CRP program

Conservation Reserve Program
Image courtesy USDA

Taxpayer education

The Farm Service Agency’s $10 million investment funds fund the new Taxpayer Education and Asset Protection Initiative. FSA has partnered with the University of Arkansas and the National Agricultural Income Tax Extension Committee. This partnership establishes centers for taxpayer education while developing and providing tax education resources to farmers, ranchers, agricultural educators and tax professionals through partnerships with stakeholders and minority-serving institutions across the country.

A primary consideration for funding is farmer education about USDA program funds. Funds received for conservation contracts, disaster assistance payments, and pandemic relief are taxable income and should be coupled with business planning associated with their program payments.

Subsequent stages of this work will include a suite of online resources for manufacturers, continuing education opportunities for tax attorneys and CPAs, cooperative agreement funding, and training opportunities for stakeholder organizations.

“Many rural areas lack legal and certified accounting services, and agricultural producers need additional knowledge and/or resources to integrate tax planning into their financial planning,” said Ronald L. Rainey, assistant vice president of the Agriculture Division of University of Arkansas System. “This partnership will help the University of Arkansas and USDA work together to overcome disparities in fiscal services to serve agricultural communities.”

These tax education partnerships focus on addressing the immediate needs of producers by providing training and information on farm taxes and farmer asset protection and infrastructure development to support rural taxpayer education and tax preparation for resource-constrained, beginning and serve history for the long term.

The tax estimator

In addition, USDA is updating and expanding online tax resources for producers, including new ones The tax estimator, an interactive spreadsheet that producers can download to estimate tax liabilities. It is for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered tax or legal advice. Producers may need to work with a tax professional to determine the correct information in the Tax Estimator.

Funding available for CRP TIP Outreach

TIP provides financial incentives to CRP participants with expiring contracts if they sell or lease land to a beginning producer, farmer or veteran farmer or a producer from a socially disadvantaged group.

FSA is making available up to $4.5 million in funding and expects to award 15 to 20 partner organizations and stakeholders to conduct outreach and provide technical assistance to promote awareness and understanding of CRP TIP among communities agricultural, especially those who are military veterans, new to agriculture, or historically served.

Eligible stakeholders include federally recognized Indian tribal organizations, state governments, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and institutions of higher education. Interested parties may submit proposals for one to two years and submit their requests until October 14, 2022.

Interested in more information?

Registration is also open for a webinar on using the tax calculator to estimate your tax burden. The webinar will take place at 2:00 PM EST on August 15th.

Producers interested in CRP TIP and other USDA programs should contact them Local USDA Service Center to learn more or to apply for programs.

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