The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Trump Administration Appoints Mike Foster as State Executive Director for USDA's Farm Service Agency in Montana

 

March 21, 2018

The Trump Administration recently appointed Mike Foster as the new State Executive Director (SED) for the USDA Montana Farm Service Agency (FSA). Foster began his new position on Feb. 20, 2018.

Foster was born and raised in Townsend, Montana, and currently resides in Bozeman. From 1991 to 1994, he represented the 32nd District in the Montana House of Representatives. He then served as a state senator representing Montana's 20th District from 1995 to 1998, where he was majority whip. Foster most recently served as regional director of advocacy for St. Vincent Healthcare.

The Farm Service Agency serves farmers, ranchers and agricultural partners through the delivery of effective, efficient agricultural programs. The agency offers farmers a strong safety net through the administration of farm commodity and disaster programs. FSA continues to conserve natural resources and also provides credit to agricultural producers who are unable to receive private, commercial credit, including special emphasis on beginning, underserved and women farmers and ranchers.

Under the direction of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, the USDA will always be facts-based and data-driven, with a decision-making mindset that is customer-focused. Secretary Perdue leads the USDA with four guiding principles: to maximize the ability of American agriculture to create jobs, sell food and fiber, and feed and clothe the world; to prioritize customer service for the taxpayers; to ensure that our food supply is safe and secure; and to maintain good stewardship of the natural resources that provide us with our miraculous bounty. And understanding that we live in a global economy where trade is of top importance, Secretary Perdue has pledged to be an unapologetic advocate for American agriculture.

As SED, Foster will use his leadership experience to oversee FSA programs in a customer-focused manner to ensure a safe, affordable, abundant and nutritious food supply for consumers.

Livestock Indemnity Program & Reporting Livestock Losses

FSA's Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) provide benefits to livestock producers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by eligible loss conditions, including eligible adverse weather, eligible disease and eligible attacks (attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law, including wolves and avian predators). LIP payments are equal to 75 percent of the market value of the applicable livestock on the day before the date of death of the livestock as determined by the Secretary.

For FSA's 2017 LIP Program, producers who suffered livestock deaths due to an eligible loss condition including eligible adverse weather events, eligible disease and eligible attacks from Jan. 1, 2017 through Dec. 31, 2017 must have submitted a notice of loss to FSA within 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock was first apparent. An application for payment must be filed with the local FSA County Office by the April 2, 2018 deadline.

For the 2018 LIP Program, producers who suffer livestock deaths due to an eligible loss condition including eligible adverse weather events, eligible disease and eligible attacks from Jan. 1, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2018 must submit a notice of loss within 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock is first apparent. Livestock producers suffering livestock losses may submit the notice of loss to FSA by phone, fax, and email or in person. An application for payment must be filed with the local FSA County Office by the March 31, 2019 deadline.

Eligible adverse weather events include, but are not limited to, earthquake, hail, lightning, tornado, winter storm (lasting 3 consecutive days with high winds, freezing rain/sleet, heavy snowfall and extremely cold temperatures), floods, blizzards, wild fires, extreme heat, extreme cold, anthrax, straight-line winds, and cyanobacteria (blue-green algae poisoning) that directly results in the death of eligible livestock in excess of more than normal mortality.

Livestock producers must provide proof of death and inventory numbers of eligible livestock that died due to an eligible loss condition. The inventory numbers represent the number of eligible livestock before and after the eligible loss conditions that cause the death of the livestock.

Beginning and ending inventory documents can include, veterinary records, balance sheets, inventory numbers used for tax purposes, loan records, sales and purchase records and other similar documents. Proof of death documentation may be rendering truck receipts, FEMA records, veterinary records, private insurance documents, contemporaneous records that existed at the time of the eligible loss conditions, pictures with a date, and other similar documents.

For questions, contact your local FSA office and visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov/disaster.

 
 

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