FOTO … FSA … NASS … What?
Hemp growers—especially those new to the space—will need to study up on an alphabet soup of acronyms that are newly important for doing business after the Farm Bill’s passage. Here’s a primer.
NAP: Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. This fund is administered by the Farm Services Agency (see below) and provides financial assistance to farmers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory or prevented planting occurs because of natural disasters.
FCIC: Federal Crop Insurance Corp. This is the official underwriter for crop insurance policies sold by private insurers.
FOTO: Farming Opportunity Training and Outreach. Created in the 2018 Farm Bill, FOTO replaces two programs that used to assist beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers. FOTO will provide $435 million over the next 10 years for helpful tools such as loan assistance and programs to connect beginning farmers, veterans and farmers of color with retiring farmers.
FSA: Farm Services Agency. This is a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agency that makes loans to farmers and ranchers who cannot obtain commercial credit from a bank or other lender. FSA loans can be used to purchase land, equipment, seed and supplies.
FSN: Farm Serial Number. Assigned by the FSA, these serial numbers are required to access federal farm loans and disaster assistance. They’re also required so that farms can participate in the USDA’s Census of Agriculture, taken every five years.
GMP: Good Manufacturing Practice. These are FDA regulations that require manufacturers of cosmetics, drugs, dietary supplements and some foods to ensure that their products are safe, pure and effective. Sometimes called CGMP (current GMP).
ISO: International Organization for Standardization. This is an independent, nongovernmental, international organization that develops standards to ensure product safety. ISO certifications exist in many areas of industry, from energy management to medical devices. ISO standards are the baseline of many FDA requirements for making dietary supplements.
NASS: National Agricultural Statistics Service. Compiles the Census of Agriculture data to identify trends in land use, production methods and farmers’ income and expenses.
RMA: Risk Management Agency. This is the agency within the USDA that administers subsidized crop insurance.