PGI Reminds Growers of TAA Signup Deadline
Potato Growers of Idaho reminds all fresh growers, including crop-share landlords, to sign up for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program at their local FSA office before the June 27 deadline. Fresh potato growers and crop-share landlords who can show a reduction of income from the 2003 crop-year are eligible to apply. Contrary to some previous information, fresh growers can receive 3.5 cents per cwt on all potatoes sold into the fresh market including process grade portion of their sales.
Significant education benefits are another important part of the TAA program. Eligible farm operators and landlords, as well as partners and spouses, will be eligible to receive up to two years of free education from the Department of Labor. This education can include college, trade school, on-the-job training, or other education programs.
Eligibility for education benefits requires an "at-risk" interest in the 2003 crop. A qualifying farm will need to show the Department of Labor its organization structure to show who fits this definition. There is no deadline for grower to apply for Department of Labor training once their TAA petition is approved.
Other TAA benefits include, a technical assistance workshop (which is required to receive the other benefits), Department of Commerce assistance for marketing and business related plans and "Advanced Technical Assistance." Growers will fill out a survey of their interests at the required technical assistance to determine what voluntary advanced training they may be interested in receiving, free of charge.
PGI encourages growers that may be unsure of their eligibility to fill out the FSA form 229 at their local FSA office to ensure the deadline is met. The first round of technical training starts June 28 in Twin Falls and Burley, continues June 29 in Pocatello and Blackfoot, and June 30 in Idaho Falls and Rexburg.
Please direct questions to the PGI office at 785-1110 or Paul Patterson, University of Idaho Economist, at 529-8376.