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Thu, Mar 07


USDA Farm Service Center

CROW WING/CASS COUNTY USDA OFFICE VISIT: Intro to Ag Programs and Disaster Assistance for Market Farmers

This group visit to the USDA Farm Services Office in Baxter, MN, will help small farms and market growers learn about federal ag programs, insurance, grants, disaster assistance, and new market opportunities.

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CROW WING/CASS COUNTY USDA OFFICE VISIT: Intro to Ag Programs and Disaster Assistance for Market Farmers
CROW WING/CASS COUNTY USDA OFFICE VISIT: Intro to Ag Programs and Disaster Assistance for Market Farmers

Time & Location

Mar 07, 2024, 2:00 PM – 4:30 PM

USDA Farm Service Center , 7118 Clearwater Rd N, Baxter, MN 56425, USA

About the event

Go Farm Connect is partnering with the Aitkin Farmers Market and  United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Crow Wing/Cass Counties Farm Service Center in Baxter to host this facilitated group visit. Market farmers and specialty crop growers will learn about federal farm programs, loans, grants, insurance and disaster assistance, as well as new market selling opportunities. You do not need to own land to participate.

The host will be Erik Heimark of Maple Ridge Produce in Aitkin, who is a Connector trained to help new and emerging farmers access helpful federal programs. Heimark is also a specialist with Go Farm Connect in farm business recordkeeping and high tunnel construction. He will be joined by USDA staff from the Farm Service Agency who will explain disaster assistance (NAP Coverage) and other programs available for specialty crop farmers. For more information, contact Erik at 218-232-1303  or Allison Rian, hub manager at Aitkin Farmers Market, will be there to answer questions about the market, as well. 

Who Should Attend

All interested parties are invited to attend and learn, including beginning and prospective farmers, landowners, family, friends, cultural advocates, and agricultural support professionals. No prior experience with federal farm agencies is required. Land ownership is not a requirement to participate in assistance programs.  Attendees do not have to reside in Crow Wing or Cass Counties - this information will pertain to all federal programs. Language interpretation will be provided upon request at pre-registration.

 What To Expect

This brief visit will cover the basics of farm programs and introduce participants to the staff at the USDA Farm Services Center. Time will be provided for individual assistance and questions, and Erik will follow up with interested participants after the event. Aitkin Farmers Market hub manager Allison Rian will also be there to answer questions about the market and about new state programs that could increase market growers' sales. 

About Go Farm Connect

Are you lost in an alphabet soup of federal acronyms? Need help finding the right resources?

Navigating USDA programs can be overwhelming, confusing and intimidating. We get that! We've pulled together an experienced team of farmers to help you connect to the right programs. We offer FREE services that focus on different aspects of building a successful farm business. We can provide a Connector to be your personal guide, coach, and ally who shares your goal of running a successful farm operation.

Go Farm Connect is a farmer-led initiative to build relationships between historically underserved specialty crop farmers (beginning, women, veterans, BIPOC and new Americans) and federal farm agencies.  Our Connectors are trained to help farms of all sizes and specialties in Minnesota and Wisconsin access agricultural assistance programs. The three-year project is led by Renewing The Countryside in partnership with the US Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, and Natural Resources Conservation Service. Registration through this link is helpful so that USDA staff can be aware of what questions you might want answered. Go Farm Connect staff may take photos and videos at this event to promote programs and future events. Your RSVP gives your permission to be photographed. Please let Erik know if you want to be kept out of photos.

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