- Farming Assistance Information
Farming Assistance Information
The City of Homestead passed a Farm Protection Resolution (Resolution No. 2023-01-16) during the January 25, 2023, Council Meeting. The Farm Protection Resolution establishes a program to provide agricultural property owners with information regarding the resources available to support the continued agriculture use of their property. Since Homestead's incorporation, agriculture and farming have been at the core of the identity of the City and the history of agriculture has had a positive impact on the community. Agricultural lands provide many benefits to the local community, including but not limited to, fresh food and food security, agricultural infrastructure, and agritourism. In an effort to protect the City's agricultural roots and assist agricultural land owners in locating the resources necessary to maintain the agricultural uses of their property, information regarding Federal, State, and Local assistance programs will be provided below.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Farm Bill: The 2018 Farm Bill was enacted on December 20, 2018. The Farm Bill continues its strong support for America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest stewards through a variety of safety net, farm loan, conservation, and disaster assistance programs.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) supports vital conservation efforts across America’s working lands. NRCS helps American farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners make conservation work for them. They promote practices that help improve production, reduce input costs, and conserve natural resources for the future.
NRCS and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) also provide financial resources to help producers fund conservation efforts. NRCS and FSA offer conservation programs for all types of agricultural operations and privately-owned forests and wetlands, whether you want to integrate conservation into your farm or ranch or conserve sensitive landscapes.
- Incentives and Programs
- Landscape Conservation Initiatives - Accelerates conservation benefits through targeted efforts for water quality, water quantity and wildlife. NRCS uses Landscape Conservation Initiatives to accelerate the benefits of voluntary conservation programs, such as cleaner water and air, healthier soil and enhanced wildlife habitat.
- Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative - Nationwide collaborative process working to maintain and improve the management, productivity, and health of privately owned grazing land. The Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI) was developed as a coordinated effort to identify priority issues, find solutions, and effect change on private grazing land, enhancing existing conservation programs.
- Sentinel Landscapes Initiative - The Sentinel Landscapes Partnership is a coalition of federal agencies, state and local governments, and nongovernmental organizations that work with private landowners.
- High Tunnel - Provides targeted assistance to promote use of high tunnels, which offer many benefits including longer growing season. A High Tunnel System, commonly called a “hoop house,” is an increasingly popular conservation practice for farmers, and is available with financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
- On-Farm Energy Initiative - Assistance to inventory and analyze farm systems that use energy and identify ways to improve efficiency through an Agricultural Energy Management Plan. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) On-Farm Energy Initiative helps farmers and ranchers make voluntary improvements that can boost energy efficiency on the farm.
- Organic Initiative - The National Organic Initiative, funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), is a voluntary conservation program that provides technical and financial assistance for organic farmers and ranchers, or those interested in transitioning to organic.
- Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) - OCCSP provides cost share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products who are obtaining or renewing their certification under the National Organic Program (NOP). Certified operations may receive up to 50 percent of their certification costs paid during the program year, not to exceed $500 per certification scope.
- Environmental Quality Incentives Program - Provides assistance to agricultural producers to address natural resource concerns. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is NRCS’ flagship conservation program that helps farmers, ranchers and forest landowners integrate conservation into working lands.
- Regional Conservation Partnership Program - Brings together partners to expand the reach of NRCS conservation programs. The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) is a partner-driven approach to conservation that funds solutions to natural resource challenges on agricultural land.
- Conservation Innovation Grants - Brings together partners to innovate on conservation approaches and technologies. Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) is a competitive program that supports the development of new tools, approaches, practices, and technologies to further natural resource conservation on private lands.
- Conservation Stewardship Program - Helps agricultural producers take their conservation efforts to the next level. The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) helps you build on your existing conservation efforts while strengthening your operation.
- Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program - Helps state and tribal governments improve public access to private lands for recreation.
- Agricultural Management Assistance - Helps agricultural producers manage financial risk through diversification, marketing or natural resource conservation practices. The Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) helps agricultural producers manage financial risk through diversification, marketing or natural resource conservation practices.
- Wetland Mitigation Banking Program - Offers competitive grants to support wetland mitigation banks for ag producers.
- Conservation Reserve Program - The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) provides a yearly rental payment to farmers who remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and plant species that will improve environmental health and quality.
- Agricultural Land Easements - Helps private and tribal landowners, land trusts, and other entities protect croplands and grasslands on working farms and ranches. Agricultural Land Easements help private and tribal landowners, land trusts, and other entities such as state and local governments protect croplands and grasslands on working farms and ranches by limiting non-agricultural uses of the land through conservation easements.
- Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Wetland Reserve Easement - The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)– Wetland Reserve Easement provides management flexibility to producers affected by drought by offering haying or grazing of easement areas where the activity is consistent with conservation of wildlife habitat and wetlands. The Wetland Reserve Easement is a voluntary program that purchases easements from landowners in exchange for their commitment to maintain areas as wetlands.
- Conservation: Agricultural conservation assists in protecting and maintaining farmlands for future generations.
- Conservation Reserve Program - The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) pays a yearly rental payment in exchange for farmers removing environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and planting species that will improve environmental quality.
- Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program - The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), an offshoot of CRP, targets high-priority conservation issues identified by government and non-governmental organizations. Farm land that falls under these conservation issues is removed from production in exchange for annual rental payments.
- Agricultural Conservation Easement Program - Helps producers protect wetlands, grasslands and farmlands for future generations. The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) helps landowners, land trusts, and other entities protect, restore, and enhance wetlands or protect working farms and ranches through conservation easements.
- Protection: USDA offers programs that provide coverage for producers to help them manage risk and to protect their operations from the impact of natural disasters and offer price support for drops in prices or revenues.
- Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs provide income support to farmers from substantial drops in crop prices or revenues and are vital economic safety net programs for most American farms.
- Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program is a voluntary program that provides dairy operations with risk management coverage that pays producers when the difference (the margin) between the national price of milk and the average cost of feed falls below a certain level selected by the program participants.
- The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) helps producers to manage risk through coverage for both crop losses and crop planting that was prevented due to natural disasters. The eligible or “noninsured” crops include agricultural commodities not covered by federal crop insurance.
- Crop Insurance: USDA provides crop insurance for producers through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. The Federal crop insurance program is designed to provide a robust and reliable farm safety net, regardless of the size and scope of natural disasters.
- USDA’s Risk Management Agency works closely with Approved Insurance Providers, who sell and service the policies that producers purchase, to ensure efficient loss adjustment and prompt claims payments, even in times of major disasters. Visit USDA Risk Management Agency’s website for crop insurance information and use the Agent Locator to find a crop insurance agent near you.
- USDA also offers crop insurance coverage for prevented planting. Learn more about resources available for prevented or delayed planting.
- Recovery: Disaster assistance programs to help offset losses as well as crop insurance and other coverage options to help manage risk and provide a safety net.
- Natural Disasters: If natural disasters do impact agricultural operations, USDA offers a number of programs to help producers recover losses and rebuild.
- Winter Storms - View programs and resources about protection and recovery from winter storms.
- Hurricane - View programs and resources that can help prepare for and recover from hurricanes.
- Drought - Learn about USDA programs and resources that protect or help recover from drought.
- Wildfire - View Programs and resources about protection and recovery from wildfires.
- Crops and Plants: Consider options to prepare for and recover from losses of crops, trees, bushes, and vines.
- Tree Assistance Program - The Tree Assistance Program (TAP) helps orchardists and nursery tree growers replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes, and vines damaged by natural disasters and eligible plant disease.
- Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) which provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops to protect against natural disasters that result in lower yields or crop losses, or prevents crop planting.
- Conservation: Find assistance to repair damages caused by natural disasters such as severe erosion, debris-clogged waterways, downed timber, damaged or destroyed farm structures, repeat flooding, or emergency measures to cope with severe drought.
- Conservation Reserve Program – Emergency Haying and Grazing - The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) enables producers to enter into 10-15 year contracts for agreeing to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and to plant species that improve environmental health and quality. While not established specifically for disaster response, emergency haying and grazing may be allowed by USDA Farm Service Agency to provide relief to livestock producers in areas affected by a severe drought or similar natural disaster.
- Emergency Conservation Program - The Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) provides funding for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland, replace or repair fences damaged by natural disasters and to carry out emergency water conservation measures during periods of severe drought.
- Price Support: There are many helpful agricultural programs focused on producer needs related to market losses.
- Dairy Indemnity Payment Program - The Dairy Indemnity Payment Program (DIPP) provides payments to dairy producers when a public regulatory agency directs them to remove their raw milk from the commercial market because it has been contaminated by pesticides and other residues.
- Loan Deficiency Payments - Loan Deficiency Payments (LDPs) are payments made to producers who, although eligible to obtain a CCC loan, agree to forgo the loan in return for a payment on the eligible commodity.
- Reimbursable Transportation Cost Program - The Reimbursement Transportation Cost Payment Program (RTCP) for geographically disadvantaged farmers and ranchers reimburses geographically disadvantaged producers with a portion of the cost to transport agricultural commodities or inputs used to produce an agricultural commodity.
- Other: Find additional USDA disaster assistance options for farmers, ranchers, foresters, and other producers who are currently enrolled in USDA Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service programs.
- Emergency Loan Program - The Emergency Loan Program provides loans to help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding, other natural disasters, or quarantine. Loans can help producers replace essential property, purchase inputs like livestock, equipment, feed and seed, cover family living expenses or refinance farm-related debts and other needs.
- Emergency Relief Program - To help agricultural producers offset the impacts of natural disasters in 2020 and 2021, Congress included emergency relief funding in the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act (P.L. 117-43). This law targets at least $750 million for livestock producers impacted by drought or wildfires.
- Disaster Set-Aside Program - The Disaster Set-Aside Program applies specifically to producers who have existing direct loans with the USDA Farm Service Agency and need to “set-aside” scheduled payments temporarily due to designated natural disasters.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) administers programs that create domestic and international marketing opportunities for U.S. producers of food, fiber, and specialty crops. AMS also provides the agriculture industry with valuable services to ensure the quality and availability of wholesome food for consumers across the country and around the world.
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS)
- The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services offers a variety of federal and state grant opportunities. Each opportunity is unique to the specific division identified and can include various award criteria. To view active or available grant opportunities, visit FDACS Grant Opportunities.
- Farmers Stress Assistance: FDACS is providing farmers and farmworkers with personalized support in their local communities through a multilingual 24-hour helpline. Florida farming isn’t a career, it’s a way of life. While the daily stresses of farming can be physically and emotionally demanding, 50% of farmers say it’s difficult to access therapy or counseling in their community. If you or someone you know is feeling overwhelmed, depressed or anxious, help is available. Talk to someone who will listen and provide the local resources needed to get through tough times.
- Call 211. Calls to 211 are confidential and can be anonymous. Concerned family members are also welcome to call.
- Learn more at 211.org
- Rural and Family Lands Protection Program (RFLPP): An agricultural land preservation program designed to protect important agricultural lands through the acquisition of permanent agricultural land conservation easements.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)
- Landowner Assistance Program - The Landowner Assistance Program, housed within the FWC's Office of Conservation Planning Services, is a cooperative, voluntary effort among Florida private landowners, the FWC and other partners to improve habitat conditions for fish and wildlife.
Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD)
- Facilitating Agricultural Resource Management Systems (FARMS): FARMS is an agricultural cost-share reimbursement program that reduces groundwater withdrawals from the Upper Floridan aquifer through conservation and alternative water supply best management practices (BMPs). In conjunction with water conservation BMPs, water quality and natural systems improvement BMPs also may be cost-shared in priority areas.
- Purchase of Development Rights for Farmlands: This voluntary program serves as one mechanism for farmland preservation by providing Miami-Dade County with the ability to purchase residential development rights from willing property owners, ensuring that the related properties remain undeveloped and available for agricultural uses.
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
Land Conservation Assistance Network (LandCAN)
Information and verbiage was gathered from the following sites:
- Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/
- Farm Service Agency (FSA) https://www.fsa.usda.gov/
- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) https://www.usda.gov/
- Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) https://www.fdacs.gov/
- Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) https://floridadep.gov/
- Miami-Dade County's Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources (MDC RER) https://www.miamidade.gov/global/economy/agriculture.page
- Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) https://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/
- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) https://myfwc.com/