Weak Calf Syndrome

Written by Dr. Megan Van Emon, Extension Beef Cattle Specialist

Newborn calves that present weak calf syndrome are those that are not able or are slow to rise, stand, or nurse.  Calves born in this condition will often die within a few days after birth.  There may be several possible reasons for weak calf syndrome.  Factors that may cause weak calf syndrome are bad weather, selenium deficiency, poor nutrition during late gestation, dystocia, cow age, and other trauma to the calf.  Weak calves must be treated or helped immediately after birth to improve their chances of survival.

Due to the atypical winter and spring, we have experienced in Montana, this may be a leading factor in weak calf syndrome this calving season.  Extreme cold and snow conditions may have caused stress to cows during gestation, which directly impacts cow immunity.  The additional stress of temperature variability in the past couple of months may have also played a role in increasing the odds of weak calf syndrome.  Providing sheltered areas to minimize the impacts of the extreme conditions may help in reducing the incidence of weak calf syndrome.

Cow nutrition also plays a large role in weak calf syndrome.  If cows were maintained on a low plane of nutrition, this could cause an increase in the incidence of weak calf syndrome in your herd.  Cows consuming a low protein (less than 10% CP) diet during the last 60 days before calving have been shown to have a greater incidence of weak calves at birth.  Additionally, a low energy diet during the last 60 days prior to calving can also increase the occurrence of weak calves.  Therefore, providing a good quality diet in the last 60 days prior to calving is crucial to minimizing weak calf syndrome in your herd.

Dystocia and other trauma to the calf also have the potential to cause weak calf syndrome.  The stress of the trauma can negatively impact calf immunity.  The additional stress can cause the calf to become hypoxic (low oxygen levels), which may cause neonatal acidosis.  If neonatal acidosis occurs, calves that do suckle are unable to absorb the needed antibodies from the colostrum.  The lack of antibodies from the cow’s colostrum may lead to additional illness as the calves age.

Selenium deficiency causes white muscle disease.  If cows are selenium deficient during gestation, calves may be born with weak muscles, which includes a weak heart, which may lead to the death of the calf soon after birth.

Very old cows and first-calf heifers may be more likely to have weak calves.  Usually, nutrition is the main factor causing weak calf syndrome in these two age groups.  Heifers require additional nutrients because they are still growing when calving for the first time and older cows may have a harder time in maintaining the extra body weight needed for calving.

Calves should nurse within an hour after birth to absorb the needed maternal antibodies from colostrum.  If a calf is born weak, the calf will need help to suckle and may require additional help to keep warm.  If a calf is dehydrated at birth, electrolytes and warm fluids may be required to help the calf rehydrate.  Presenting weak calves to your veterinarian may aid in determining the underlying cause and a plan may be prepared to minimize the occurrence of weak calves in the future.

 

Dr. Megan Van Emon is the Extension Beef Cattle Specialist at Montana State University (MSU).

Perdue Announces Additional Hurricane and Wildfire Recovery Details

Under the direction of President Donald J. Trump, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced new details on eligibility for a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster program, 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP). In total, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will deploy up to $2.36 billion that Congress appropriated through the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 to help producers with recovery of their agricultural operations in at least nine states with hurricane damage and states impacted by wildfire. Following the announcement, Secretary Perdue issued this statement:

“Last year our nation experienced some of the most significant disasters we have seen in decades, some back-to-back, at the most critical time in their production year. While USDA has a suite of disaster programs as well as crop insurance available to help producers manage their risk, Congress felt it was important to provide extra assistance to our nation’s farms and ranches that were the hardest hit last year,” Secretary Perdue said. “At President Trump’s direction, our team is working as quickly as possible to make this new program available to farmers in need. Our aim is to provide excellent customer service, building on efforts which began the day the storm hit.”

Key Updates Include:

  • Hurricane Recovery: To be eligible a crop, tree, bush or vine must be located in a primary disaster county with either a Presidential declaration or a Secretarial designation due to a 2017 hurricane. Crops, trees, bushes or vines located in other counties may also be eligible if the producer provides documentation the loss was caused by a 2017 hurricane.
  • Wildfire Recovery: Any crop, tree, bush or vine, damaged by a 2017 wildfire is eligible.
  • Eligible Producers: Eligibility will be determined on an individual basis, using the level of insurance coverage purchased for 2017 for the total crop acres on the area for which the WHIP application is made. Eligible producers who certify to an average adjusted gross income (AGI) of at least 75 percent derived from farming or ranching, including other agriculture and forestry-based businesses during the tax years 2013, 2014 and 2015, will be eligible for a $900,000 payment limitation with verification. All other eligible producers requesting 2017 WHIP benefits will be subject to a $125,000 payment limitation.
  • Crop Insurance Requirement: Both insured and uninsured producers are eligible to apply for WHIP. However, all producers opting to receive 2017 WHIP payments will be required to purchase crop insurance at the 60% coverage level, or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) at the 60% buy up coverage level if crop insurance is not available. Coverage must be in place for the next two applicable crop years to meet program requirements.
  • Acreage Reporting Requirements: In addition, for the applicable crop years, all producers are required to file an acreage report and report production (if applicable).
  • Payment Formula: FSA will calculate WHIP payments with this formula:

    Payment = Expected Value of the Crop x WHIP Factor – Value of Crop Harvested – Insurance Indemnity

    The WHIP factor ranges from 65 percent to 95 percent. Producers who did not insure their crops in 2017 will receive a 65 percent WHIP Factor. Insured producers, or producers who had NAP, will receive between 70 percent and 95 percent WHIP Factors; those purchasing higher levels of coverage will receive higher WHIP Factors.

Other USDA Disaster Assistance:

Drought, wildfires and other disasters continue to impact farmers and ranchers, and 2017 WHIP is just one of many programs available through USDA to help with recovery. From crop insurance to on-the-ground rehabilitation programs like the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), USDA is here to help. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 provided funding for ECP and the Emergency Watershed Protection Program. The Act also provided amendments to make programs like the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-raised Fish Program, Tree Assistance Program and Livestock Indemnity Program even more responsive.

More Information:

FSA will hold a sign-up for 2017 WHIP no later than July 16. Additional information on WHIP is available on FSA’s 2017 WHIP webpage. For immediate assistance under any of our other disaster programs, please contact a local USDA service center or learn more at www.fsa.usda.gov/disaster.

-Source: USDA

One Montana releases Drought Resilient Ranching Workshops Report

In cooperation with MSU Extension Service and the Musselshell Watershed Coalition, One Montana hosted three workshops (Clyde Park, Two Dot, and Winnett) to provide an opportunity for collaboration in regards to drought resilience. The goal was to facilitate conversations and share knowledge to answer several important questions:

  •  In times of drought, how can farmers and ranchers implement effective management strategies?
  • How can producers adapt to changing weather conditions?
  • What resources are available to predict weather and soil conditions?
  • What resources do producers already utilize?
  • What recommendations do participants have for the USDA on improving drought-related programs?

    Workshop content included presentations from Michael Downey of DNRC about the Flash Drought of 2017, Lee Schmelzer of Stillwater County Extension about the Montana Mesonet, and a talk from Jeff Mosley (Clyde Park and Two Dot) and Mat Walter (Winnett) of MSU Extension titled “Managing Plant Communities After Drought.” The workshops also included group discussion sessions during which participants shared their experiences with the 2017 drought, their perspectives on effective rangeland management strategies during and after drought, and their feedback on resource availability and agency response during times of drought.

To view the full report head over to One Montana’s website.

 

Montana to Exercise Animal Disease Response

The Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) is collaborating with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other state and local agencies to conduct an animal disease response exercise, May 8-10, 2018.

The three-day functional exercise will enable MDOL to practice the state’s animal disease response plan. Numerous federal, state and local government agencies will participate in the exercise, which will be based on an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the United States.

“Foot-and-mouth disease would have devastating consequences for Montana’s livestock industry and how we handle the initial response would be crucial,” said State Veterinarian Marty Zaluski. “Testing our response plan in an exercise format will be very beneficial and we look forward to participating in the exercise.”

Foot-and-mouth disease was last identified in the United States in 1929. FMD is a highly contagious disease of cattle, sheep, swine, goats, deer and other cloven-hooved animals. It is not a human food safety concern nor a public health threat; however, it is a major concern for animal health officials because it could have potentially devastating economic consequences due to disrupted trade and lost investor confidence. Montana is home to over 2.5 million head of cattle which bring around $1 billion each year in cash receipts.

“This exercise will be a positive experience that will make Montana’s livestock industry more resilient and better prepare us for an outbreak,” said MDOL Executive Officer Mike Honeycutt. “The public should not be concerned if they hear anything about foot-and-mouth disease during the days of the exercise.”

The mission of the Montana Department of Livestock is to control and eradicate animal diseases, prevent the transmission of animal diseases to humans, and to protect the livestock industry from theft and predatory animals. For more information on the Montana Department of Livestock, visit www.liv.mt.gov.

Dillon, Mont. to host Stockgrowers’ MidYear Meeting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Kori Anderson
406.442.3420
kori@mtbeef.org

Dillon, Mont. to host Stockgrowers’ MidYear Meeting

The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) has announced their Midyear Meeting will be held in Dillon, Mont. June 14-15. MidYear is one of two major meetings MSGA holds annually where members will gather to discuss the issues facing Montana ranching families and set interim policy to guide the association through the year.

“Please join us for an unforgettable summer convention in Dillon!  It’s time to show southwest Montana how important ranching is to preserving the west.  This year, we have invited the entire community and surrounding area to join us in this great celebration,” said Bryan Mussard of Dillon, President of MSGA. “Dillon, Montana is the crossroads of agriculture and environmentalism. Every time an endangered species is identified in Montana, there is a cow standing over it, protecting it with thousands of acres of open space and hundreds of miles of clean watersheds.  We are all busy, but it is necessary for all of us to participate in this event.  Our consumers will be on hand to meet us personally.  So, get your chores done, call your neighbor to watch the gates and get to Dillon for this historic event.”

Thursday’s Opening General Session will feature Dr. Vaughn Holder the Ruminant Research Group Director for Alltech. His keynote “Expanding Nutritional Horizons” will address the science and technologies that are changing the face of cattle nutrition. His keynote will be followed by policy meetings where members have the opportunity to hear about issues facing Montana ranchers and set policy to exact positive change.

Following the policy meetings, the Montana Stockgrowers Foundation is hosting a Gala Dinner and Auction. Attendees are encouraged to dress up in their best “Cattle Baron – Turn of the Century Attire”. The Gala will include an auction of four local float trips, five commissioned original Montana art pieces and many other amazing items!

The fun doesn’t stop on Friday which kicks off with an inspirational breakfast at the Fairgrounds, a 500-horse parade through Dillon, a BBQ cookoff, Stagecoach viewing, a cattle judging competition and so much more! The day culminates in a Preserving the West Concert headlined by Saints & Angels, a Nashville based band that will be joined by Florida Georgia Line’s original guitarist Brian Bonds. Montana’s own Kyle Shobe & the Walk ‘Em Boys will kick the party off!

For more information about MSGA’s 2018 Mid-Year Meeting, contact MSGA’s office at (406) 442-3420 or join the Facebook event. Visit mtbeef.org for tickets and more details

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The Montana Stockgrowers Association, a non-profit organization representing nearly 2,500 members, strives to serve, protect and advance the economic, political, environmental and cultural interests of cattle producers, the largest sector of Montana’s number one industry – agriculture.

Fifth-Generation Montana rancher chosen to attend national conference

Montana Stockgrowers Foundation selects fifth-generation Sidney rancher to attend a National leadership conference

The Montana Stockgrowers Foundation (MSF) has selected Katelyn Dynneson of Sidney, Mont. to represent the Montana Stockgrowers Associaton (MSGA) at the Young Cattlemen’s Conference this year. The Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC), held May 30 – June 7, is an opportunity for cattlemen and cattlewomen between the ages of 25 and 50 to visit segments of the beef industry in other parts of our nation with young cattlemen from other states. Facilitated by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), participants will travel with national attendees to Denver, Chicago, and Washington D.C.

“I’m incredibly excited and honored to be chosen to represent MSGA at YCC. I truly appreciate the opportunity given to me by the foundation,” noted Dynneson. “I’m looking forward to networking with fellow beef industry leaders from across the country and learning skills to be a better beef advocate.”

Katelyn Dynneson is a 5thgeneration farmer and rancher in Sidney. She graduated from Montana State University with honors and a double major in agricultural business and economics. She works full time on her family’s cow-calf operation, custom backgrounding feedlot, and farm where they raise small grains, corn, and hay. She serves as the secretary/treasurer for the MonDak Area Stockgrowers and is a leader for the Richland County 4-H Jr. Leaders. She participated in the inaugural class of the Montana Stockgrowers Leadership Series and is the current Vice-Chair of the Young Stockgrowers.

The primary objective of YCC is to develop leadership qualities in young cattlemen and expose them to all aspects of the beef industry. The tour helps these young leaders understand all areas of our industry ranging from industry structure to issues management, from production research to marketing.

For more information on the Montana Stockgrowers Foundation and its work to preserve Montana’s ranching legacy, please contact 406-442-3420.

 

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The Montana Stockgrowers Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established to ensure the future of Montana’s cattle industry through producer and public education, and promotion of MSGA programs.

Montana FSA: Disaster Assistance for Flood-Affected Montana Producers

2018 Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybee, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP)

The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) provides emergency assistance to eligible livestock, honeybee, and farm-raised fish producers who have losses due to disease, adverse weather or other conditions, such as flooding, blizzards and wildfires, not covered by other agricultural disaster assistance programs.

Eligible livestock losses include grazing losses not covered under the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), additional feed purchases in excess of normal and loss of purchased feed and/or mechanically harvested feed due to an eligible adverse weather event, additional cost of transporting water because of an eligible drought and additional cost associated with gathering livestock to treat for cattle tick fever.

Eligible honeybee losses include loss of purchased feed due to an eligible adverse weather event, cost of additional feed purchased above normal quantities due to an eligible adverse weather condition, colony losses in excess of normal mortality due to an eligible weather event or loss condition, including CCD, and hive losses due to eligible adverse weather.

Eligible farm-raised fish losses include death losses in excess of normal mortality and/or loss of purchased feed due to an eligible adverse weather event.

Producers who suffered eligible livestock, honeybee, or farm-raised fish losses from Oct. 1, 2017, to Sept. 30, 2018, must file:

A notice of loss the earlier of 30 calendar days of when the loss is apparent or by Nov. 1, 2018

• An application for payment by Nov. 1, 2018

The following ELAP Fact Sheets (by topic) are available online:

• ELAP for Farm-Raised Fish Fact Sheet

• ELAP for Livestock Fact Sheet

• ELAP for Honeybees Fact Sheet

To view these and other FSA program fact sheets, visit the FSA fact sheet web page at www.fsa.usda.gov/factsheets.

For more information on ELAP, please contact your local FSA office.

Ongoing Notice of Loss Requirements

Montana farmers and ranchers are reminded to timely report all crop and livestock losses to your local Farm Service Agency office. For more information and any questions, please contact your local FSA office.

ELAP – Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program: Submit Notice of Loss the earlier of 30 calendar days of when the loss is apparent or Nov. 1st after the end of the program year in which the loss occurred. Examples of ELAP losses include additional feed purchases in excess of normal and loss of damaged or destroyed purchased feed and/or mechanically harvested feed due to an eligible weather event. Producers may also be eligible for costs associated with transporting livestock feed to eligible livestock, including, but not limited to, costs associated with equipment rental fees for hay lifts and snow removal incurred in combination with losses due to additional feed purchased above normal or damaged or destroyed purchased or mechanically harvested forage.

LIP – Livestock Indemnity Program: Submit Notice of Loss within 30 calendar days of when the livestock loss is apparent. File an Application for payment and supporting documentation no later than 90 days after the calendar year in which the loss occurred.

NAP – Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program: Submit Notice of Loss within 15 calendar days of the earlier of a natural disaster occurrence, the final planting date if planting is prevented by a natural disaster, the date that damage to the crop or loss of production becomes apparent; or the normal harvest date.

TAP – Tree Assistance Program: Final Date to Submit an Application and Supporting Documentation is the later of 90 calendar days of the disaster event or the date when the loss is apparent.

Visit FSA’s national disaster assistance website and FSA’s program factsheets page.

Disaster Designations – If you have experienced a production or physical loss as a result of a natural disaster you may submit a request to your local FSA county office for your county to be evaluated for a disaster designation. Once a request is received, the county office will collect disaster data and create a Loss Assessment Report. The County Emergency Board will review the Loss Assessment Report and determine if a recommendation is sent forward to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for a designation. A designation triggers the availability of low-interest Emergency Loans to eligible producers in all primary and contiguous counties.

Farm Loans – For information on loan options with FSA, please contact your local FSA office for assistance and visit the FSA Farm Loan Programs Website.

FSA Disaster Assistance Programs at a Glance Factsheet (pdf)

For more information, please contact your local FSA office.

Requesting Emergency Conservation Program Assistance for Flood Damage

Farmers and ranchers suffering severe damage from flooding can request assistance through FSA’s Emergency Conservation Program (ECP). Affected producers can request ECP assistance through their local FSA office.

The types of ECP practices that can be available under this program include:

• removing debris from farmland

• grading, shaping or releveling severely damaged farmland

• restoring permanent fences

• restoring conservation structures and other similar installations

ECP is administered by FSA to assist producers with the cost of recovery activities required to restore the agricultural land to pre-disaster conditions. Producers who sustained damage from this disaster event are encouraged to submit their request for assistance prior to beginning reconstructive work. Submitting a request after completing qualified reconstructive work may result in forfeiture of program eligibility.

Producers can submit ECP applications through the FSA county office. FSA county committees will complete an evaluation of submitted requests and will request national funding based on an on-site inspection of the damaged land, taking into consideration the type and extent of the eligible damage. Completion of the on-site inspection does not guarantee that cost-share funding will be allocated. The use of obligated funds is limited to return the land to the relative pre-disaster condition. Conservation concerns that were present on the land prior to the disaster are not eligible for ECP assistance. Approved ECP applicants may receive up to 75 percent of the cost of completing the approved restoration activity.

For more information on ECP, please contact your local FSA office.

Producers are Encouraged to Report Prevented Planting and Failed Acres

Producers are reminded to report prevented planting and failed acres in order to establish or retain FSA program eligibility for some programs. Producers should report crop acreage they intended to plant, but due to a natural disaster, were prevented from planting. Prevented planting acreage must be reported on form CCC-576, Notice of Loss, no later than 15 calendar days after the final planting date as established by FSA and Risk Management Agency (RMA).

Contact your local FSA office for a list of final planting dates by crop.

If a producer is unable to report the prevented planting acreage within the 15 calendar days following the final planting date, a late-filed report can be submitted. Late-filed reports will only be accepted if FSA conducts a farm visit to assess the eligible disaster condition that prevented the crop from being planted. A measurement service fee will be charged.

Additionally, producers with failed acres should also use form CCC-576, Notice of Loss, to report failed acres.

Producers of hand-harvested crops must notify FSA of damage or loss through the administrative County Office within 72 hours of the date of damage or loss first becomes apparent. This notification can be provided by filing a CCC-576, email, fax or phone. Producers who notify the County Office by any method other than by filing the CCC-576 are still required to file a CCC-576, Notice of Loss, within the required 15 calendar days.

For losses on crops covered by the Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), producers must file a Notice of Loss within 15 days of the occurrence of the disaster or when losses become apparent. Producers must timely file a Notice of Loss for failed acres on all crops including grasses.

 

MSGA advocates for Montana ranchers in Washington DC

The Montana Stockgrowers Association had a successful trip in DC, including meeting Secretary Pruitt(L to R) Back Row: MSGA First Vice President Fred Wacker of Miles City, MSGA Second Vice President Jim Steinbeisser of Sidney, MSGA Director of Natural Resources Jay Bodner, NCBA Environmental Counsel Scott Yager. Front Row: MSGA Communications Director Kori Anderson, EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt, MSGA President Bryan Mussard.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Kori Anderson
406.442.3420
kori@mtbeef.org

MSGA advocates for Montana ranchers in Washington DC

The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) traveled to Washington DC to meet with Montana’s Congressional Delegation and Agency officials last week. President Bryan Mussard of Dillon, Mont.; First Vice President Fred Wacker of Miles City, Mont.; and Jim Steinbeisser of Sidney, Mont. attended the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Legislative Conference April 10-12.

The MSGA officers met with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines, Congressman Greg Gianforte, and senior officials from the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) were a top priority of MSGA during the trip. They spoke extensively about the need for a permanent fix for livestock haulers, and the trio presented each member of the delegation with a list of minimums to consider.

MSGA had the opportunity to meet with Senator Daines the day before he met with President Trump to discuss the tariffs on China. The Association voiced their concerns over the proposed beef tariffs and explained the effect it would have on Montana’s number one industry.

A common theme of the week was reducing burdensome regulations, it costs ranchers $12,000 a year to comply with state and federal regulations. From the EPA to Interior, it was evident there was strong support for said action. Administrator Pruitt promised to look into streamlining the record keeping system for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) after discussion with the MSGA officers.

In order to best serve the ranchers of Montana, it is a priority of MSGA to work with the Congressional Delegation and Federal Agencies to accomplish the goals set forth by the membership. To learn more about what a membership with MSGA can do for you, please visit mtbeef.org.

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The Montana Stockgrowers Association, a non-profit organization representing nearly 2,500 members, strives to serve, protect and advance the economic, political, environmental and cultural interests of cattle producers, the largest sector of Montana’s number one industry – agriculture.

MSGA meeting with Secretary Zinke.

MSGA meeting with U.S. Senator Jon Tester.

Governor Bullock issues EO to aid winter hay hauling

Due to the effects of Montana’s severe winter conditions, Montana Governor Steve Bullock has waived certain hay transportation requirements. Yesterday, Governor Bullock signed an Executive Order that allows for the movement of vehicles that may exceed size and weight limits when it is necessary for responding to emergency situations brought on by weather or other natural events.

The Order allows baled livestock feed within the state to exceed the statutory limits by 20 percent along with allowing nighttime transportation of said oversized hay loads.

While operating under this Order, commercial vehicle drivers may not require or allow fatigued drivers to operate a motor vehicle and are encouraged to meet the lighting requirements for loads over 10 feet in width.

The exemption will last for thirty days unless revoked prior to expiration.

 

 

USDA Announces $8.4 Million to Support Veterans and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Partnerships & Public Engagement (OPPE) today announced up to $8.4 million in available funding for training and technical assistance for socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers. Funding is made through the USDA’s Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (also known as the 2501 Program).

“The USDA is committed to reaching all farmers and ranchers,” said OPPE Director Diane Cullo. “Through the 2501 program, the USDA is building lasting relationships among these farmers and ranchers, the local organizations that serve them, and the USDA’s local, state, regional, and national offices.”

The 2501 Program was originally authorized by the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990. 2501 grants seek to enhance the equitable participation of socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers in USDA resources and programs, such as Farm Service Agency loans or grants through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). Projects may focus on conferences, training sessions, educational materials, or new programs to help these farmers and ranchers thrive and succeed.

Eligible applicants include community-based organizations, networks, or coalitions of community-based organizations; 1890 or 1994 institutions of higher education; American Indian tribal community colleges or Alaska Native cooperative colleges; Hispanic-serving institutions of higher education; other higher education institutions; Indian Tribes or national tribal organizations. Eligible entities must have experience in providing agricultural education or other agricultural-related services for socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers.

The deadline for applications is May 15, 2018. See the request for applications for full details. Learn more about this funding opportunity through two teleconferences on March 28, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. EST and April 25, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. EST. To join each session, call 1-888-455-1685 and use passcode 7087935.

Examples of FY 2017 funded 2501 projects include a grant to the National Hmong American Farmers, Inc., to provide technical and direct assistance to Hmong farmers in central California who face barriers to successful farming due to poverty and cultural and linguistic isolation. A Florida State University project reached veterans with workshops, online agricultural courses, and 15 farm apprenticeships and managerial apprenticeships at private farms.