A sixth-generation farmer from Stockbridge, Mich., Tim Boring has been a longtime customer of USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Now, he takes the helm of that agency as its newly appointed FSA state executive director for Michigan.
“I have a working knowledge of FSA programs from the farmer side of the counter, and I’m looking forward to bringing that perspective to my role with the agency,” he says.
On his family farm, Boring raises a wide variety of grain crops, using soil health and regenerative agriculture principles. He is the president and founder of Michigan Agriculture Advancement (MiAA), an organization dedicated to improving the economic, environmental and social state of Michigan agriculture.
Boring says he will continue to stay involved with MiAA as a grower, but the organization will soon be making some announcements about its direction and leadership.
FSA implements agricultural policy; administers credit and loan programs; and manages conservation, commodity, disaster and farm marketing programs through a state and national network of offices.
“On my own farm, I worked for years to build markets that value how and where food is grown, and this is an area that holds tremendous promise for Michigan,” Boring says. “I’ve been a champion of the role soil health can play in improving farm economics and environmental impact, and those same soil health practices are the centerpiece of USDA’s climate change work.”
He points to the Pandemic Cover Crop Program, which provides crop insurance premium support to growers who planted a qualifying cover crop during the 2021 crop year, as just one example of how the current administration implements voluntary and incentive-based solutions to help meet emission reduction goals and increase resilience of farms.
Michigan Farm Bureau President Carl Bednarski says, “Dr. Timothy Boring has a wealth of farming and research experience, including extensive in-field trials focused on various conservation practices, making him uniquely qualified for his new role as agriculture enters the expanding carbon credit markets. We congratulate Dr. Boring on his appointment as FSA state executive director and look forward to working with him to support and enhance agriculture across our state.”
Creating better and more market opportunities, addressing climate change through farm management practices, and addressing equity and inclusion within the agricultural system are all issues important to Boring. “We absolutely need a fairer, more transparent food system, rooted in local and regional production,” he adds.
The Biden administration’s initiatives around equity and inclusion are of high importance, Boring says.
“Our agricultural system must be more accessible to everyone in this county and in this state,” he says. “It’s an especially important issue in Michigan, where we have so much diversity, not just in the range of crops we grow, but the people that make up our state as well. As we look to build an agricultural system that better values how and where food is grown, we must ensure previously underserved areas and populations have meaningful access to participate in these opportunities.”
Boring has served on the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development, as vice president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association and as research director of the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee. He holds a Master of Science and a doctorate in crop and soil sciences from Michigan State University.