Join the UFUSA Mission and Make a Difference!
United Farmers USA (UFUSA) is making a difference in the lives of small farmers and ranchers nationwide.
The 2501 Outreach Program
United Farmers USA will provide outreach services that will identify potential new and beginning Socially Disadvantaged Farmers, Ranchers, and Forest landowners, veterans, and the unemployed in 27 rural counties in South Carolina’s districts 5 & 6 to provide updated information on USDA programs that will impact their farm operation, procure resources that are available and provide continuing education on agribusiness sustainability.
The Small Farmers and Ranchers’ 12-Step Program
|A program designed to find new and beginning farmers/ranchers, educate and train them on farming and show them how to network with other farmers/ranchers using the latest technology.|
UFUSA holds a variety of workshops:
- Risk Management – Enabling farmers to participate in crop insurance.
- Financial Planning/Record Keeping – Requirements for loan application
- Filing Taxes – Assistance with filing taxes
- Loan Application – How to fill out loan application.
- Marketing Livestock (Bull selection and breeds of livestock. cattle, goats, etc.) – Helping farmers understand livestock as a part of their existing farms.
- Farm Disaster – Going through extreme conditions such as drought, hurricanes, etc. Helping farmers who need to get assistance for their farms. USDA, community awareness groups and local community are encouraged to involved.
- Farm Census (NASS) – Farmers, Ranchers, & Community Gardeners are made aware of upcoming census and are encouraged to commit to sign up.
- Youth summer workshop – 8 hours per day. Youths participate in on the farm training and United Farmers teach them the benefits of farming as a career.
- Farm Bills – Farmers, Ranchers and Community Gardeners are made aware of the many up coming Farm Bills and are encouraged to become committed to trying to implement changes.
- Silvopasture Grazing – Farmers are introduced to NRCS and forestry, Farmers and Ranchers applied to practice Silvopasture and grazing.
- Farm Succession – Farmers, Ranchers, Community Gardeners and the local community is made aware of the importance of writing a will.
- Community Gardeners – Farmers, Ranchers and Community Gardeners are able to grow fresh vegetables and sell them at the Farmers Market to local community.
- Students – This is an opportunity for students to go through a Shadow Program (3 months) learning community gardening, working with an organization, and becoming aware of what it means to have farming as a career.
- Triple Irrigations
- Farm Safety
- Use of Farm Equipment
- Planting Farm Seeds
- Implementing NRCS EQUIP, cross fencing, rotational grazing, wells, etc.
- Implementing Community Gardens
- To bring people back to farming
- To utilize the youth to work with farmers to pass on farm knowledge
- To create jobs
- To teach farmers the basic computer skills, retrieving emails, fax, and copying
The Challenges of Socially Disadvantaged Producers
Many socially disadvantaged farmers operate lands that need improvements. Most of the needed improvements are irrigation and/or land leveling which comes with financial challenges. Since the land they own is typically small, it’s difficult for them to justify buying equipment for their own use, and it’s not easy for them to access machine rentals or contractors who are unavailable due to other project commitments.
Drawbacks and the Development to give socially disadvantaged farmers, beginning farmers, ranchers and forest landowners the ability to begin, develop and sustain their land.
Common Drawbacks and Challenges
- Limited Access to Land – For socially disadvantaged farmers, beginning farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners who have little or no connections with landowners, this can become a serious limitation. Moreover, the high prices of land raises their own property taxes, thus putting more pressure on the farm operation.
- Limited Economic Resilience – the amount of funds in socially disadvantaged/underserved areas. Alternative strategies to market smaller farm products are being developed (e.g., farmers markets, niche markets).
- Limited Access to Machinery and Equipment – Many farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners do not have access to modern technology, which would enable them to retrieve emails, faxes, and copies.
- Education – Many socially disadvantaged farmers, beginning farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners work full-time jobs and work the farm part-time. As a result, they are unable to participate in educational and technology training that will enable them to become more successful business persons.
- Financial Literacy and Lack of Knowledge of USDA Programs – It’s important to carry some farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners through an entire two-year financial planning program process to make them eligible for NRCS and other USDA programs. Some face challenges to access financial resources that could help them start, develop and sustain their farms or ranches. Furthermore, those who are newcomers may be unfamiliar with the credit systems available, or if they are familiar, they may not have a complete understanding. For example, we found some farmers filing a short tax return form instead of a long tax return form (i.e., Schedule F) that eliminates them from NRCS and other USDA programs. Also, some farmers do not understand how to complete an application for programs or loans. The financial planning programs that UFUSA carried farmers through have proven to be successful.
Click here to learn more about United Farmers’ work in the farming and ranching communities.