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Looking ahead to 2014

Published: Friday, Jan. 3, 2014 2:15 p.m. CDT

As 2013 came to a close, I became increasingly grateful for all the blessings in my life. I have an amazing fiancee, a healthy and loving family, a great job, a beautiful and fun-loving niece, and so much more.

But even with all the blessings, we all face challenges that sometimes cause us to take a step back, breath and regroup.

This last year our office said goodbye to two wonderful employees who left the agency, one left to pursue a career on her family farm and the other retirement. Although it was sad to see them leave, we wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.

With a hiring freeze in place, it is unclear on whether these vacancies will be filled. But I assure you we will continue to work hard and do the best job we can to serve the producers of Bureau County even with fewer staff.

Whenever I recap the previous year, I can’t help but get excited to find out what the next year has in store, and 2014 is no different. I have BIG plans.

I will be marrying a wonderful man in the spring, and I look forward to all the joys and challenges that come with marriage. I will not only gain a husband, but as my fiancee is one of six children, I will gain a large, loving family, as well.

I look forward to continuing to serve the producers of Bureau County. Whether a new farm bill or an extension to the current farm bill is passed, we will be here to answer questions and help producers understand programs and policy changes every step of the way.

One program change many producers may not be aware of is the deadline to certify forages and fall seeded small grains, which was Dec. 16, 2013.

This reporting date has been moved to an earlier date for 2014 crops in order to match the crop reporting deadline for crop insurance.

The Dec. 16, 2013, deadline has been extended to Jan. 15, 2014.

Producers who fail to report crops with an applicable deadline of Dec. 16 will be assessed a late-filing fee per farm, if they are reported after Jan. 15.

This includes perennial forage such as alfalfa, mixed hay, grasses that are baled, mechanically harvested or grazed and all fall seeded grains, including wheat for grain.

Also, please remember now is a great time to update your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office of changes that have occurred such as changes in ownership, farm operations, address, etc.

If you have any questions or for more information, please call our office from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 815-875-8732, ext. 2.

On behalf of the Bureau County FSA Office, I would like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year!

Justina Boggio is the county executive director for the Bureau County Farm Service Agency.

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