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Meet the people behind the Farm Service Agency

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The Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers farm commodity, crop insurance, credit, environmental, conservation and emergency assistance programs for farmers and ranchers. The Madison office serves Madison and Taylor Counties. There are two teams in the office, the Farm Program team with four people and the Farm Loan team with three people. Mark Demott is the County Executive Director for Madison County Farm Service Agency. He is also the County Executive Director for Jefferson County Farm Service Agency. He has been in the position since 2008 and has been with the agency for 30 years. His responsibilities include overseeing the office, working with the locally elected county committee of farmers and landowners that oversee the farm programs the Farm Service Agency offers and letting the people know about the farm programs. He would like people to know that they can go to the Farm Service agency website, and sign up for different types of emails to receive concerning the USDA. Billie Hamrick is a Program Technician. She handles the conservation programs, farm records and eligibility for program benefits. She has been a Program Technician for 25 years. Her favorite part is working with the people and her least favorite part is software and computer problems. Melissa Rodgers is a Program Technician. She handles cotton and peanut loans, wetland conservation and disaster programs. She also handles the administrative work for the office. Her favorite part is figuring out problems and her least favorite part is the restrictions that regulations put on the agency and having to convey that to the producers and farmers. Rodgers encourages any one with farmland to contact the office. There may be something available for them. Taryn Carter is a temporary Program Technician. She has been in the position for three months. She is there to help the other Program Technicians in any way she can. She has been learning a lot about agriculture and how things are done. She loves working with everyone and the feel of a small town that her government job has. Justin Teuton is the Farm Loan Manager for 14 counties that include Lafayette, Hamilton, Suwannee, Madison, Taylor, Jefferson, Leon, Wakulla, Gadsden, Jackson, Calhoun, Franklin, Liberty and Gulf. He also covers the Virgin Islands. He is responsible for loans to farmers in the area. “We’re here to support the local farmers, where they cannot get financing with an outside commercial lender,” said Teuton. Teuton has been with the agency for five years and a Farm Loan Manager for two years. He would like farmers to know that the micro loan limits have increased from $35,000 to $50,000 and the eligibility requirements for the loans have been relaxed. The loans are for first time farmers, social disadvantage farmers and niche market farmers. Patricia Sorensen is a Farm Loan Officer. She has been with the Madison office since May 2014. She was with the Jefferson County Farm Service Agency for 25 years as a Program Technician. As a Farm Loan Officer she administers farm loan programs similar to Teuton but with a lower lending ceiling. Her favorite part is helping farmers and meeting new people and her least favorite part is memorizing regulations that are provided to them. Everything must be done according to regulations. Sorensen encourages producers who may be having trouble financing their farm operations to come into the office and inquire about the different programs. Amanda Hammers has been a Farm Loan Program Technician since 2008. She has been with the agency since 2007. Her main responsibility is to assist Teuton and Sorensen. She describes herself as a catchall that makes sure everything gets done. Her favorite part is talking with the producers and learning different aspects of farming. Her least favorite part is filing. One program she would like people to know about is the youth loan program. Children can get up to $5,000 to get started in an agriculture business such as crops, livestock or beekeeping.

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