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Serving: MO

2 farmers take over corn leadership roles

Mindy Ward corn being harvested by combine
SERVING CORN FARMERS: Missouri farmers selected two of their own to serve in leadership roles at the state level, working to advance projects and policies important to corn growers.
Missouri Ag Minute: Conservation acres increase; find a loan to fit your operation.

There is new leadership at the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council and Missouri Corn Growers Association.

Clint Stephens of Advance, Mo., is the new Missouri Corn Merchandising Council chairman. He and others were elected during the organization's August board meeting, and took over the business of the association in October.

“We’re working hard each day to build opportunities for corn farmers,” Stephens said in a news release. “In the year ahead, we know exports are going to be important and will continue to work with our partners at the national level to expand market access, meet with foreign buyers, and showcase the quality of U.S. corn and corn co-products. Living near the river, exports have always been vital to growers in my area, and we look forward to seeing what opportunities open this year.”

He said the association will also look to build ethanol infrastructure, participate in researching carbon markets, support the livestock industry, and share corn education with consumers and students.

The Missouri Corn Merchandising Council board of directors is comprised of 14 volunteer farmers elected from across the state. New MCMC board members are Brice Fischer of Rich Hill and Brandon Thiel of Marshall.

In his 10th year on the Missouri Corn Growers Association board, Jay Schutte of Benton City will serve as the new president.

“Experience is a great teacher, and the main thing I have learned is we possess the capabilities to simultaneously handle a wide span of issues," Schutte said. "Just in the last month, our organization has met with elected officials and regulatory staff to discuss significant concerns impacting corn growers, including tax legislation, river transportation issues, exports and many more. We will continue to work with our political leaders to ensure farmers' voices are heard on these important matters and any other issues that may appear on the radar.”

Conservation acres reach 5 million

The Natural Resources Conservation Service reached a new milestone with enough acres in easements to fill the state of New Jersey. The 5 million acres have been enrolled across all the conservation easement programs offered by NRCS over the past 28 years.

Farmers, ranchers and private landowners who enroll their acres in conservation easements ensure protection of sensitive lands, support wildlife and confront challenges such as climate change.

NRCS offers conservation easements through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, which helps landowners, land trusts and other entities protect, restore and enhance wetlands, grasslands, and working farms and ranches through conservation easements.

There are 5 million acres enrolled in conservation easements, 2.8 million acres in wetland easements and 1.9 million acres in agricultural easements, including grassland easements. There were 110,000 acres enrolled in fiscal 2021.

Farmers, ranchers and private foresters looking to enroll farmland, grassland or wetlands in a conservation easement may submit proposals to the Missouri NRCS office to acquire conservation easements on eligible land. To enroll land through wetland reserve easements, landowners should contact their local USDA service center.

Find farm loans to fit your operation

Farmers and ranchers can use the Farm Loan Discovery Tool on farmers.gov to find information on USDA farm loans that may best fit their operations.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency offers a variety of loan options to help farmers finance their operations. From buying land to financing the purchase of equipment, FSA loans can help.

Farmers can access the Farm Loan Discovery Tool by visiting farmers.gov/fund and clicking the “Start” button. Follow the prompts, and answer five simple questions to receive loan information that is applicable to your agricultural operation.

USDA conducted field research in eight states, gathering input from farmers and FSA farm loan staff to better understand their needs and challenges.

Farmers who are looking for financing options to operate a farm or buy land can answer these questions about what they are looking to fund and how much money they need to borrow. After submitting their answers, farmers will receive information on farm loans that best fit their specific needs. The loan application and additional resources also will be provided.

Farmers can download application quick guides that outline what to expect from preparing an application to receiving a loan decision. There are four guides that cover loans to individuals, entities and youth, as well as information on microloans.

The guides include general eligibility requirements and a list of required forms and documentation for each type of loan. These guides can help farmers prepare before their first USDA service center visit with a loan officer.

The Farm Loan Discover Tool is built to run on any modern browser such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox or Safari. It is fully functional on mobile devices, but it does not work in Internet Explorer.

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