Farm Service Agency

A Brief History of the FSA

The FSA's relationship with farmers goes back 50 years, to the 1930's, and the first agricultural acts establishing farm programs. Under the unique method of local administration Congress set up at that time, farmers who were eligible to participate in federal programs selected a three-person county committee. This committee reviewed the county office operations and made decisions about how the programs should be applied locally, giving farmers a say in how the federal programs were run in their county. The committee made sure that farmers received proper service and complete information. This grassroots method of administration continues today.

Agricultural commodity programs are designed to improve the economic stability of agriculture and help farmers adjust production to meet demand. They accomplish this through acreage reductions and diversions. The goal is to avoid severe price swings for farmers and consumers. Assistance is offered through price support loans and purchases, as well as direct payments.

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