Tag Archives: USDA

Videos: slightly larger: The Settlement North on Val Del Road @ LCC 2018-12-11

In their one December 2018 Regular Session, they couldn’t bring themselves to reject a rezoning, but they did require still larger lot sizes, for the Val Del Road rezoning.

That was the most elaborate series of motions I’ve seen on anything in the dozen years I’ve been following the Lowndes County Commission. It even exceeds the time somebody tried to rezone next to my west field and they denied that one by not voting.

Nothing else took more than a few minutes. The County Manager asked for an emergency to Continue reading

Videos: The Settlement North on Val Del Road back again @ LCC 2018-12-10

Molly Stevenson, Engineering/Planning Technician, reminded Commissioners that the main reason for the Val Del Road rezoning is to be able to subdivide at a greater density. Then she recited the reasons to deny it.

Chairman Bill Slaughter reminded Commissioners they’d tabled it twice, and “I’d very much like to get this resolved at this meeting.” By which he meant the Regular Session this evening at 5:30 PM, not the Work Session yesterday morning at which he said that. At least one Commissioner had a question.

The second longest item was 6 m. Approval of the 2019 Commission Meeting Calendar, because of two questions by Commissioners.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also Continue reading

Back again: The Settlement North on Val Del Road @ LCC 2018-12-10

The agenda sheet says “the applicant’s conceptual site plan is attached.” But of course we the taxpaying, traffic-affected, and water-drinking public don’t get to see it.

Why the Lowndes County Commission considering rezoning for a subdivision that its own staff says doesn’t fit the Comprehensive Plan Character Area, is outside the Urban Service Area, would add significant traffic, and many neighbors spoke against it, plus the Planning Commission recommended denial? The Commission tabled in October, and again in November, when Commissioners asked for an update, but now staff says, “There are no updates to the overall case status.”

If they can’t deny this one, what rezoning can they ever deny?

Current Zoning Map, REZ-2018-17
Photo: Still by LAKE from Lowndes County Commission video of its 9 Oct 2018 Regular Session.

Here is the agenda. See also Continue reading

Agricultural Workshop in Douglas May 29 2014

Agriculture is Georgia’s biggest industry, and USDA is holding a workshop on that in Douglas at the end of May.

On Team Agriculture Georgia‘s blog, Team Ag Georgia is coming to Douglas!

The Spring 2014 TAG workshop will be held at the City of Douglas Central Square Complex in Douglas, GA (click here for directions) on Thursday, May 29, 2014.

Courses being offered during the Spring Workshop include:

  • Google Map
    Organic/Naturally Grown Certification
  • Financing Small Farms – Ag Aware
  • Olive Production
  • Continue reading

USDA REAP grants for 2014

Applications are being accepted now for grants from the USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). According to Bryan Zulko, the amount of funds available is still being worked out, and an announcement is expected in February. Meanwhile, the number of applications is low this year. To me that means that if you want to apply, you’ve got a better chance than usual of getting in.

Section 9007 of the 2008 Farm Bill established a grant, loan, and loan guarantee program to assist eligible farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses in purchasing renewable energy systems and for making energy efficiency improvements.

Eligible projects include Continue reading

Agricultural poverty resources meeting

Received yesterday from Jerome Tucker about the USDA StrikeForce Initiative: “Unfortunately, 90 percent of America’s persistent poverty counties are in rural America. USDA’s StrikeForce aims to increase investment in rural communities for technical assistance and other resources in priority, poverty-stricken communities.” -jsq

StrikeForce Georgia Informational Meeting

Informational Meeting
Thursday, May 23, 2013
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
(Individual media interview time will be from 1:00-2:00PM)
Hosted By: Fort Valley State University
Agricultural Technology Conference Center,
Camp John Hope Road, Fort Valley, GA 31030

This free meeting is open to the general public, partners and members of the press to get a better understanding of this expanding USDA initiative and to learn where it's heading in Georgia!

Pre-Registration is requested by May 20, 2013 by emailing Continue reading

Videos: Ham and Eggs Show 2013-02-20

The Lowndes County Ham and Eggs show is the only one in Georgia and one of only two in the country. Now, you might wonder why? Many folks are interested in good, local foods and the craft of curing meats. Well, it has to do with regulations and having the hogs slaughtered and cured in USDA certified facilities.

Years ago, men, women and children would cure the meats at home and bring the hams on the appointed day to the contest (and auction). But, now no meat can be sold Continue reading

Microloans for small farmers —USDA

USDA PR 0010.13:

USDA Finalizes New Microloan Program

Microloans up to $35,000 aim to assist small farmers, veterans, and disadvantaged producers

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2013 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a new microloan program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 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.“By further expanding access to credit to those just starting to put down roots in farming, USDA continues to help grow a new generation of farmers, while ensuring the strength of an American agriculture sector that drives our economy, creates jobs, and provides the most secure and affordable food supply in the world.”

The new microloans, said Vilsack, represent how USDA continues to make year-over-year gains in expanding credit opportunities for minority, socially-disadvantaged and young and beginning farmers and ranchers across the United States. The final rule establishing the microloan program will be published in the Jan. 17 issue of the Federal Register.

Administered through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) Operating Loan Program,

Continue reading

Grant funding opportunities: deadlines very soon

Received today from Bryan Zulko of USDA. -jsq

Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program – Application deadline: Nov 28, 2012
Grants to plan or implement food projects designed to meet the needs of low-income individuals and increase community self-reliance concerning food and nutrition.

Great American Main Street Awards (GAMSA) – Application deadline: Dec 3, 2012
Grants to recognize exemplary and innovative revitalization achievements in revitalization of historic and older neighborhood commercial districts using a community-driven, historic-preservation based approach.

Continue reading

Valdosta Farm Days grant

Received 12 October 2012 from Tim Carroll from Mara Register from Larry Hanson.

Lowndes County Partnership for Health The Lowndes County Partnership for Health has received a $96,858 grant from the USDA to continue to develop Farm Days Farmers Market, establish agricultural center that will serve the agri-science educational needs of area students and provide low cost fresh produce to primarily low income populations in our area. In addition this project will aggregate commodities from surrounding farms for distribution which will support economic development among area farmers. The grant will pay for a full time farm manager over two years, a portable vegetable stand to be used on a distribution route, travel cost associated with distribution route, and promotional and educational materials for Farm days and the agricultural center. City of Valdosta staff assisted in the effort in the preparation of the grant application. This project has grown out of the partnership between the City, the South Health District and the Partnership for Health with the Farm Days Farmers Market. The last market day for the year will be held on Saturday, October 20th.

Here’s the USDA’s paragraph on that award:

$96,858 to Lowndes County Partnership for Health, Inc., Valdosta, GA, for a community‐supported agricultural center that will serve as a food hub and educational center to increase access to affordable, nutritious, local food in low‐income food deserts in South Georgia by purchasing a mobile farmers market van, offering a series of workshops to train vendors, and establishing community gardens for resident use.

That’s good news! But please, can we not use this grant to move the location of Valdosta Farm Days? It’s got a great site right where it is, around the historic Lowndes County Courthouse.