USDA’S Trade Adjustment Assistance for farmers program to review petitions from wool and lamb producers | TSLN.com

USDA’S Trade Adjustment Assistance for farmers program to review petitions from wool and lamb producers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) will accept two petitions for review under the fiscal year 2011 Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Farmers Program which may be of interest to Montana wool and lamb producers. One petition was filed by wool producers from Montana. The other petition was filed by lamb producers from Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming.

The TAA for Farmers Program provides technical assistance and cash benefits to eligible U.S. producers and fishermen of raw agricultural commodities whose crops or catch have been adversely affected by imports of like or directly competitive commodities. The TAA for Farmers Program was reauthorized and modified by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.

Accepting a petition for review begins the process by which USDA determines a commodity’s eligibility under the program. Petitions must demonstrate that either the national average price, or production, or value of production, or cash receipts, of their commodity has declined by greater than 15 percent in the most current year – compared to the previous three-year average – and that an increase in imports during the same time period contributed importantly to the decline.

No further action needs to be taken by Montana wool producers at this time. If wool is determined to be eligible, USDA will certify the petition and publish a notice in the Federal Register. Montana wool producers then have 90 days to contact their local USDA Farm Service Agency to apply for assistance under the program.

However, if Montana producers are interested in applying for benefits under the lamb petition, then they must join the Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming lamb petition. To join the lamb petition, producers must complete form FAS-930, which is available on the FAS Web site at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/itp/taa/taaforms.asp. Forms can be sent by fax: 202-720-0876; or by e-mail: tradeadjustment@fas.usda.gov; or by U.S. mail: TAA, Foreign Agricultural Service, Stop 1021, USDA, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-1021; or by courier delivery: TAA, Foreign Agricultural Service, Suite 400, USDA, 1250 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20024. The use of fax or e-mail is preferred.

FAS must receive form FAS-930 from Montana lamb producers no later than 15 days from the date of the Federal Register notice that announces the petition’s acceptance, to be released before the end of July. TAA Federal Register notices can be found on the FAS Web site at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/info/fr/notices.asp.

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FAS held a public hearing on July 21, 2010 to receive oral comments associated with the Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming lamb petition. The petitioners requested a public hearing to present evidence showing that imported lamb meat is in direct competition with lamb production in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming.

General information about the TAA for Farmers Program can be found on the FAS Web site at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/itp/taa, or by contacting the TAA for Farmers Program staff, Office of Trade Programs, at 202-720-0638 or 202-690-0633, or by e-mail at: tradeadjustment@fas.usda.gov.

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