USDA Introduces Online Farm Link Tool for Beginning Farmers
December 13th, 2010
On Monday, December 13, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the release of TIP Net, an online tool to help link retiring farmers who have expiring Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts with beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers who want to buy or rent land for their operations.
CRP contracts covering millions of acres of land will expire during the term of the 2008 Farm Bill. USDA estimates that contracts covering 4.4 million acres expired this year, with nearly the same number of acres due to expire in 2011.
Under the Transition Incentives Program (TIP), administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency, retired or retiring owners or operators with expiring CRP contracts can receive up to two additional annual rental payments if they sell or lease the CRP land to beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers who are interested in bringing the land into production using sustainable grazing or crop production methods, including transitioning to organic.
As of November 30, TIP participation included 372 contracts on more than 52,000 acres, with nearly $5 million obligated for TIP annual rental payments.
“The interest in TIP during the first six months of implementation has far exceeded our expectations,” said Secretary Vilsack this morning. “This tool should make TIP even more effective in facilitating the transition of land to our next generation of farmers.”
The “Craigslist”-style TIP Net currently has few posts, but it has the potential to become an essential linking tool for beginning and retiring farmers. You do not need to create an account in order to browse available ads. In order to post an ad, you will need to create an account here.
The CRP-TIP program was championed by NSAC, leading an advocacy drive to get it included in the 2008 Farm Bill. We are pleased with the progress of the program to date, and with the new TIP-Net tool.