USDA To Offer Certificates for Farm Commodities Pledged to Marketing Loans

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that producers who have crops pledged as collateral for a marketing assistance loan can now purchase a commodity certificate that may be exchanged for the outstanding loan collateral. The authority is provided by the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act, legislation enacted by Congress in December. Commodity certificates are available beginning with the 2015 crop in situations where the applicable marketing assistance loan rate exceeds the exchange rate. Currently, the only eligible commodity is cotton.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) routinely provides agricultural producers with marketing assistance loans that provide interim cash flow without having to sell the commodities when market prices are at harvest time lows.  The loans allow the producer to store and delay the sale of the commodity until more favorable market conditions emerge, while also providing for a more orderly marketing of commodities throughout the marketing year.

These loans are considered “nonrecourse” because the loan can be redeemed by delivering the commodity pledged as collateral to the government as full payment for the loan upon maturity. Commodity certificates are available to loan holders having outstanding nonrecourse loans for wheat, upland cotton, rice, feed grains, pulse crops (dry peas, lentils, large and small chickpeas), peanuts, wool, soybeans and designated minor oilseeds.  These certificates can be purchased at the posted county price (or adjusted world price or national posted price) for the quantity of commodity under loan, and must be immediately exchanged for the collateral, satisfying the loan.

Producers may contact their FSA office that maintains their loan or their loan service agent for additional information. Producers who do business with Cooperative Marketing Associations (CMA) or Designated Marketing Associations (DMA) may contact their respective associations for additional information.  To learn more about commodity certificates, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/pricesupportor contact your local FSA office. To find your local FSA office, visit http://offices.usda.gov.

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Obituary- Lena Grant Richardson

Mrs. Lena Grant Richardson, 84, of Deep Run, NC, died Saturday, April 2, 2016. She is survived by one son, Calvin Grant Richardson and wife, Lori of Henderson, Nevada; daughter, Cathy Richardson Cook and husband, Thurman of Deep Run, NC; four grandchildren, Joseph Grant Richardson and fiancée, Pauline Condero, Ethan Jacob Richardson of Henderson, NV, Zachary Thurman Cook and wife, Jenna of Hookerton, NC and Travis Calvin Cook of Deep Run, NC; great-grandson, Felix Curtis Richardson of Henderson, NV; sister, Lula Grant Sykes of Emporia, VA; brother, Frederick Hawkins Grant of Carlsbad, CA and a number of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great nephews. Mrs. Richardson was the daughter of the late Joseph and Lena Wendell Grant of Emporia, Virginia. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Calvin Richardson and two daughters, Wendell Lynne Richardson and Kay Wynne Richardson and a brother, William Joseph Grant. She was born in Greensville County but lived in Yale, Virginia where she was an active member of Joyner United Methodist Church. After her husband’s death, she moved to Emporia but eventually chose to move to Deep Run to be near her daughter and family. The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 5 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 6. Interment will follow at Greensville Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Joyner United Methodist Church, c/o Jeannette Everett, 17413 Everett Rd, Capron, Virginia 23829 or to the Kitty Askins Hospice Center, 107 Handley Park CT., Goldsboro, NC 27534. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

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Fifty Years Ago, Legislation Signed Creating Comprehensive Community College System for Virginia

This photo of legislation being signed appeared in the Richmond Times Dispatch on April 7, 1966

RICHMOND —April 6 marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of legislation that created the Virginia Community College System.

Fifty years ago, the General Assembly passed and Governor Mills Godwin signed, on April 6, legislation that created the State Board for Community Colleges and the State Department of Community Colleges.

The legislation paved the way for what would become, by 1972, a statewide system of 23 comprehensive community colleges, realizing the vision of having higher education opportunity within commuting distance of all Virginians.

Virginia’s Community Colleges are marking the 50th Anniversary of the statewide system of comprehensive community colleges in 2016 with a year-long observance that celebrates the progress of the past 50 years as well as the promise of the future.

Since then, Virginia’s 23 colleges have served well over 2.6 million people, awarded more than 575,000 credentials and associate degrees, and launched countless numbers of transfer students into bachelor programs, advanced degrees, and successful careers.  

The original legislation creating the system merged technical colleges that existed or were under construction with two-year branches of four-year institutions, and subsequently, with entirely new institutions to promote Godwin’s vision of a comprehensive community college that served both the transfer and the occupational needs of all Virginians.

Two colleges, Northern Virginia and Virginia Western, opened as part of the system in the fall of 1996, which grew to eight by the next fall and to 23 by the fall of 1972.

“Whatever else our community colleges may accomplish,” Godwin said at the 1967 dedication of John Tyler Community College, “they have taught us that we can never again think of a college education as something that belongs to the privileged or the few.”

In 2016, Virginia’s Community Colleges are celebrating tremendous gains while enthusiastically looking forward to the profound difference community colleges will make in Virginia’s new economy over the next half-century.

As part of that year-long observance, community members can share their stories regarding what community colleges have meant for them.  A web landing page has been created to collect those stories at 50.vccs.edu.

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