One of the unique aspects of the FARM Assistance program is the fact that extension specialists work with producers on a one-one-one basis, making it an individualized process. As part of this process, subscribers are asked to gather the necessary data prior to their initial meeting with a FARM Assistance specialist. Typically, this data can be found by contacting your crop insurance agent, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) office, accountant, and/or loan officer. Many times, this information is contained in a producer’s operating loan application. The producer’s cost of the FARM Assistance analysis includes the time spent gathering data, the time spent with the extension specialist, and a subscription fee of $400.
The analysis begins with an initial data collection meeting and can typically be finalized in two subsequent meetings. The information collected in the initial meeting is used to develop a preliminary baseline projection for the operation. In the second meeting, the extension specialist and the subscriber review the input data, verify preliminary results, and develop any alternative strategies to be analyzed. Finally, in a third meeting, the extension specialist will deliver and explain the FARM Assistance analysis report.
The total time required for this process depends on the complexity of the operation, the completeness of a subscriber’s information, the subscriber’s schedule, and the specialist’s schedule. While everyone is different, the typical time subscribers spend in a session with the specialist is 3 to five hours for the initial meeting, 2 to 3 hours for the review, and 1 to 2 hours for the final report delivery.