An area Congressman is hoping to revive a key farm program.
13th District Congressman joined New Hampshire Democrat Annie Kuster yesterday in introducing the bipartisan Veteran and Beginning Farmer Assistance Act, which would reauthorize the Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas program, know as ATTRA, to members of the House Ag Committee.
Davis says he’s hoping to revive ATTRA with some key improvements by providing resources, training, and technical assistance to veterans, young people taking over family farming operation, and those entering the farming profession for the first time.
Davis says the ATTRA sustainable agriculture program provides practical educational resources, training, individualized technical assistance, and farmer-to-farmer learning networks for farmers who are seeking to expand and diversify their business while at the same time strengthening sustainability efforts.
The ATTRA program taps the expertise of more than 30 sustainable agriculture specialists across 10 states and is developed and managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The majority of funding for ATTRA is through a cooperative agreement with USDA Rural Development’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
Davis’ bill would expand the ATTRA program with an additional $3.5 million in funding. It would also codify in the law that the program would work for and “assist beginning, socially disadvantaged, and veteran farmers and ranchers, support farm business viability planning, and advise farmers working to protect their crops from extreme weather events.”