What are the benefits of Trade Adjustment
Assistance for Farmers (TAA for Farmers)
Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers (TAA
for Farmers) program provides free technical
assistance in the development of business
adjustment plans to producers of raw
agricultural commodities and fishermen who have
been adversely affected by import competition.
The plans are to serve as a guide for adjusting
producers’ business operations to prevailing
economic conditions. TAA for Farmers provides
cash payments related to the implementation of
an approved initial business plan and
development and implementation of a subsequent
long-term business adjustment plan.
What Federal law created TAA for Farmers?
Funding for technical assistance and cash
payments is made available through the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, the
"stimulus package"). The TAA for Farmers program
was originally established under the 2002 Trade
Act amendment to the provisions of the Trade Act
of 1974. That program was in effect from October
1, 2002 through December 31, 2007. The ARRA
revised and reauthorized TAA for Farmers.
Do I qualify?
Who is covered by TAA for Farmers?
TAA for Farmers covers farmers, ranchers,
fish farmers, and fishermen. It does not cover
the forest products industry.
How will producers become
A group of producers first petitions the U.S.
Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign
Agricultural Service (FAS) for Trade Adjustment
Assistance on behalf of producers in their state
or group of states. If the petition satisfies
eligibility and other program criteria for TAA
for Farmers, FAS will certify the group of
producers as eligible and publish a notice of
such certification in the Federal Register.
Producers then have up to 90 days to apply to
USDA for benefits, which are conditioned on
meeting individual producer eligibility
requirements. A producer or group of producers
who resides outside of the state or group of
states identified in the petition may file a
request to become a party to the petition not
later than 15 days after the notice is published
in the Federal Register,
What criteria must TAA for
Farmers petitions satisfy?
At least one of four factors relating to
market conditions of the raw commodity must have
declined, in the year specified in the petition,
by more than 15 percent compared to the average
of the previous 3 marketing years. The four
factors (covering the entire U.S. or one or
mores states) are the average price received by
producers, quantity of production, value of
production, and cash receipts. In addition, FAS
must make a determination that increases in
imports of like or competitive products
"contributed importantly" to the decline in one
of these factors. Definitions of "like or
competitive products" and the specific criteria
for groups and individual producers will be
detailed in rules developed by USDA and
published in the Federal Register.
Do we qualify?
What is included in the technical assistance?
The initial technical assistance will include
information on improving the yield and
marketability of the agricultural commodity, and
the feasibility and desirability of substituting
one or more alternative agricultural commodities
for the commodity affected by import
competition. Eligible producers then receive
intensive technical assistance, which consists
of a series of courses leading up to an initial
business plan. Producers may then receive
additional technical assistance for development
of a longer-term more detailed business plan.
What are the monetary benefits to producers?
Eligible producers who develop an approved
business plan, with guidance from educators
working under approved Extension programs, are
entitled to receive a cash payment of up to
$4,000 to implement the initial business plan or
develop a long-term business plan. Producers who
subsequently develop approved longer-term
business plans are entitled to receive an
additional cash payment of up to $8,000 to
implement their long term plans. A producer may
not receive more than $12,000 during the
36-month period following certification of the
group petition. Travel and subsistence expenses
related to attending training sessions may also
Unlike prior TAA for Farmers programs, cash
payments will not be based on the production
level or net-farm income of the individual
Do payment limits or income limits apply to
To be eligible, an applicant is subject to
two adjusted gross income limits. An applicant
shall not be eligible to receive any benefit if
the average adjusted gross nonfarm income of the
person or legal entity exceeds $500,000, or if
the average adjusted gross farm income exceeds
$750,000. These payment limits are established
by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of
2008 (the 2008 Farm bill).
Payments to an individual producer, excluding
subsistence and per diem payments for training
attendance, may not exceed $12,000 in the
36-months following petition approval. Payments
for business plan development and implementation
are also subject to the payment limits
applicable to counter-cyclical and Average Crop
Revenue Election (ACRE) payments established
under the 2008 Farm Bill.
How much money is available and when is the
program in effect?
$90 million per year is available for the
2009 and 2010 fiscal years, and $22.5 million is
available for October through December 2011, the
final three months of the program. The funds
will be used for developing and implementing
approved Extension training programs, as
determined by the National Institute for Food
and Agriculture (formerly CSREES), for cash
payments to producers for development and
implementation of business plans, and for USDA
administration of the program.
Who administers the program?
Overall program authority rests with the
Administrator of the Foreign Agricultural
Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of
Agriculture. Training in business plan
development will be provided by approved
Extension programs, as determined by the
National Institute for Food and Agriculture
(formerly CSREES). Payments to producers will be
made by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA).
When can producers apply?
A proposed rule governing the TAA for Farmers
program will be developed by USDA and published
in the Federal Register for public comment. When
that process is completed and a final rule is
published, groups can submit petitions. Once a
petition is certified, individual producers can
submit applications. Watch this website for
further information on pending regulations and
the submission process.
As directed by
Congress through the 2008 Farm Bill, the
Cooperative State Research, Education
and Extension Service (CSREES) will
become the National Institute for Food
and Agriculture (NIFA) no later than
October 1, 2009.