Overview of TAA

Overview of Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers

TAA for Farmers provides free technical assistance and cash benefits to producers of agricultural commodities and to fishermen who have been adversely affected by import competition.


Why apply?

If the prices or production for a commodity have declined, a commodity organization can bring new resources to producers by applying for TAA. If a commodity is approved for TAA, producers will be able to attend intensive workshops designed specifically to help them improve profits, get access to a personal business planning consultant and obtain cash payments. Sum up these resources and producers will get a package of benefits that will help them compete with foreign competition and generate higher profits.

Benefits to Producers and Fishermen

TAA provides training to help producers increase profitability, improve production efficiency, consider marketing opportunities, and evaluate alternative enterprises. TAA will also help participants develop a business plan, evaluate changes to their business, and provide funding to implement changes.

TAA Technical Assistance for producers and fishermen includes the following components:

Initial overview - provides an introduction to TAA and opportunities to improve production and marketing or evaluate alternative enterprises

Intensive technical assistance - choose from a series of workshops on topics relevant to the commodity that will help improve profitability

Initial business plan - write a short description of how you plan to change your business based on what was learned from the workshops to become eligible to receive a maximum $4,000 cash payment

Long-term business adjustment plan - get help developing a business plan outlining how you will implement changes to your business. Completion makes you eligible for a maximum $8,000 cash payment

How it Works

After a commodity is certified eligible for TAA, producers or fishermen have 90 days to sign up at a USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.

The initial overview will be delivered by Extension Service educators within 180 days after a commodity is certified. Intensive technical assistance and assistance developing a business plan will also be provided by Extension, but producers and fishermen will have three years to complete these phases of the program.

Who is Eligible?

An agricultural or fisheries commodity can petition USDA to become eligible for TAA. A commodity is eligible if it has experienced more than a 15% decline in the national average price, or the quantity of production, or the value of production, or in cash receipts in the most recent marketing year compared to the previous three marketing years; and if imports contributed importantly to this decline.

How to Apply

A commodity organization or any group of three unrelated producers can submit a petition to USDA. A petition may be submitted on behalf of a state, a group of states, or as a national petition. Petitions are submitted to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. To obtain the petition form and guidelines visit: www.fas.usda.gov/itp/taa/

Once a commodity is approved, individual producers and fishermen can apply at their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.

For More Information

For more information on the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers Program, contact the United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service.

Phone: (202) 720-0638
Web: www.fas.usda.gov/itp/taa
Email: tradeadjustment@fas.usda.gov

For more information on Technical Assistance Training, contact the Center for Farm Financial Management at the University of Minnesota.

Phone: (612) 625-1964
Web: www.cffm.umn.edu