AgEBB-MU CAFNR Extension

Linda Geist
Senior Information Specialist
University of Missouri Cooperative Media Group

January 24, 2018

MU Extension offers program to learn about state, federal resources

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - University of Missouri Extension invites beginning farmers and ranchers to attend a free workshop about resources offered by state and federal agencies.

"Understanding the Alphabet Soup of USDA Programs" will be held 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the Greene County MU Extension Center, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield.

Speakers will review resources offered to farmers and ranchers at the Farm Service Agency and explain funding options available through the Natural Resources Conservation Service, said Reagan Bluel, MU Extension dairy specialist.

During the afternoon session, speakers will explain the planning and operational orders process needed to apply for state and federal resources available to veterans. Missouri AgrAbility Project state director Karen Funkenbusch and representatives from other agencies will give case studies.

"This is a great opportunity to meet your local USDA FSA and MU Extension representatives and learn how to get started in farming and ranching," said Bluel. "It is also a good time to network with others interested in farming and ranching."

A free lunch is served. Register by contacting Bluel at 417-847-3161 or You may also contact MU Extension in Greene County at 417-881-8909.

MU Extension, through a grant from the USDA Office of Advocacy and Outreach to help veterans and socially disadvantaged persons who want to farm, offers the program to increase agribusinesses and enterprise development.

The USDA 2501 grant helps beginning farmers and others evaluate and plan their farm enterprise. Participants attend a set of practical seminars and field days to learn from MU Extension specialists, farmers and agribusiness operators. The grant comes at a critical time, Funkenbusch says. More than 300,000 veterans are expected to return to their rural Missouri roots in the next decade. "Many of them will seek work in agriculture," she says. Latinos also represent one of the fastest-growing populations of new farm operators.

USDA helps fund this program as part of an $8.4 million set of grants to 24 states through the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program, also known as the 2501 Program.

Source: Reagan Bluel, 417-847-3161

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