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USDA Releases "Microloans" for Small Farmers

USDA Releases "Microloans" for Small Farmers

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a new microloan program, designed to help small and family operations, beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers secure loans under $35,000.

The new microloan program is aimed at bolstering the progress of producers through their start-up years by providing needed resources and helping to increase equity so that farmers may eventually graduate to commercial credit and expand their operations.

The microloan program will also provide a less burdensome, more simplified application process in comparison to traditional farm loans.

"I have met several small and beginning farmers, returning veterans and disadvantaged producers interested in careers in farming who too often must rely on credit cards or personal loans with high interest rates to finance their start-up operations," said Vilsack.

2013 World Ag Expo Tickets on Sale Now!

2013 World Ag Expo Tickets on Sale Now!

The world's largest annual agricultural exposition is just about ready-- question is, are you?

More than 1,400 exhibitors will display the latest in farm equipment, communications and technology on 2.5 million square feet of exhibit space. 

The event will also feature free seminars that focus on a variety of topics important to dairy producers, farmers, ranchers and agribusiness professionals.

Here's what you need to know:

Dates: Tuesday, February 12-14

Hours: Tuesday & Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday, 9 a.m.

Get Help Replacing Your Outdated Ag Equipment

Get Help Replacing Your Outdated Ag Equipment

Eight free, two-hour workshops with information and grant application assistance for replacing agricultural equipment including tractors, mobile equipment and stationary ag pumps are scheduled Jan. 14-17 throughout the Valley.

The workshops will be hosted by staff from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s grant program, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, public utility companies and the agricultural community.

“This grant program fills a big need, and we anticipate a healthy attendance at these events,” said Aaron Tarango, a District grant program supervisor.

The workshop schedule is as follows:


Monday, Jan. 14

9-11 a.m.: Kings County Administration Bldg., multipurpose room, 1400 W. Lacey Blvd., Hanford

1-3 p.m.: Fresno County Farm Bureau, 1274 W. Hedges Ave., Fresno


Tuesday, Jan.

End of the Year Tax Tips

End of the Year Tax Tips


Despite an uncertain tax code future, taxpayers can still lower their tax liability. H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) advises on five strategies taxpayers can use in December to lower their 2012 tax bills.

“While many may be focused on talk of the fiscal cliff and next tax season, it’s important for taxpayers to know there are still tried-and-true tax strategies they can use in the final weeks of 2012 to reduce their tax bill,” said Brian Pegram, regional marketing manager at H&R Block.

As taxpayers watch to see if any eleventh hour changes to the tax code are made, they can make the following money-saving moves.

Nominations Sought For 2013 Freedom Award

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.

This special award is given to employers that go to extraordinary lengths to support their employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve.

The Department of Defense is encouraging all Guard and Reserve members, or family members acting on their behalf, to nominate their employers.

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve will accept nominations at www.FreedomAward.mil through January 21, 2013.

Lemoore Chamber of Commerce Christmas Luncheon

Lemoore Chamber of Commerce Christmas Luncheon

IRS Offers Tax Tips for “The Season of Giving”

IRS Offers Tax Tips for “The Season of Giving”


December is traditionally a month for giving generously to charities, friends and family. But it’s also a time that can have a major impact on the tax return you’ll file in the New Year. Here are some “Season of Giving” tips from the IRS covering everything from charity donations to refund planning: