Honorable Steve Kagen, M.D.

Wisconsin's former 8th District Representative

January 4, 2007 to December 22, 2010

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Kagen Urges Wisconsin Farmers To Apply For The USDA Advisory Committee For Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:       
September 10, 2009

Contact:  Jake Rubin
(202) 225-5665

KAGEN  URGES  WISCONSIN  FARMERS  TO  APPLY  FOR  THE
U.S.D.A.  ADVISORY  COMMITTEE  FOR  BEGINNING  FARMERS  AND  RANCHERS

Nominations for individuals being accepted through October 5

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)  Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. is fighting for Wisconsin’s agricultural community and urges Wisconsin farmers to apply for the Advisory Committee for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers.  This committee will help to make it easier for beginning producers by making available advice from those with experience in many aspects of the agricultural industry.

“I am working hard for Wisconsin family farms,” said Kagen.  “I encourage members of our community to apply to become a part of the USDA Advisory Committee for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers so that Wisconsin’s rich history and experience in this industry can benefit farmers throughout our nation.”

Kagen is the only Member of Congress from Wisconsin on the House Agriculture Committee.

“It is increasingly difficult to get started in farming. In Wisconsin, agriculture has been our way of life.  I want to help the next generation of Wisconsin farmers establish themselves,” Kagen said.

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that nominations for individuals to serve on the Advisory Committee for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers are being accepted through October 5, 2009.

To qualify, individuals must belong to or participate in any of the following groups, programs, or agencies: USDA’s Farm Service Agency; state beginning farmer programs; commercial lenders; private nonprofit organizations currently participating in a beginning farmer or rancher program; the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service; community colleges or other educational institutions with demonstrated experience in training beginning farmers or ranchers; and other entities or persons providing lending or technical assistance to qualified beginning farmers or ranchers. Farmers and ranchers are also eligible for nomination.

Form AD-755, “Advisory Committee Membership Background Information,” must be completed for those interested in serving on the Committee. Submission of this form constitutes a nomination, and eligible persons may nominate themselves. Letters of recommendation may also be submitted, but should not be solicited or obtained from USDA officials employed in Washington, DC. The form is available online at www.fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA_Filead755.pdf.

The Agricultural Credit Improvement Act of 1992 requires the Secretary of Agriculture to establish the Committee. The 20-member Committee advises the Secretary on ways to support federal and state programs that administer joint financing to beginning farmers and ranchers and maximize new opportunities created through those programs.

Seven of the Committee members were replaced when the Committee charter was last renewed on March 28, 2008. Approximately one-third of the 20 existing members will be replaced when the charter is renewed. The agency is now accepting nominations of individuals to serve for a 2-year term on the Committee. Reappointments are made to assure effectiveness and continuity of operations. No member, other than a federal employee, can serve for more than six consecutive years. Members are not paid; however, they are reimbursed for travel expenses related to attending meetings, which are generally held annually. A notice requesting nominations was published in the Federal Register on September 3, 2009.

For those without Internet access who want a copy of the nomination form or more information, please contact Mark Falcone, Designated Federal Official for the Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers, at (202) 720-1632 or e-mail at [email protected] Mr. Falcone’s address is: USDA-FSA, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Stop 0522, Washington, DC, 20250-0522; Fax is (202) 690-1117.

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