Ag groups eye farm bill for business technical assistance

More than 140 ag groups and others are asking members of Congress to dedicate funding in the next farm bill to business technical assistance.

American Farmland Trust Deputy Policy Director Andrew Bahrenburg tells Brownfield while USDA provides technical assistance and farm viability work, there is no program with it as the focus.

“It leaves service providers that work with these businesses that provide that one-to-one wrap around business technical assistance often chasing one-off grant opportunities, ad hoc funding or programs,” he explains.

Bahrenburg says the request can hopefully build on new initiatives at the Farm Service Agency and Agriculture Marketing Services.

“Both included an emphasis on business technical assistance as one of the goals and purposes of those programs so they have heeded the call,” he shares.

Multi-year grants could provide services for small and midsized farm and food businesses like coaching, skill development, and planning related to financial and labor management, marketing and business strategies, farm transfer and succession, and access to land and capital.

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