New Beekeepers Wanted in Mississippi

In an effort to reverse the recent decline of honeybee populations in Mississippi, financial assistance is being made available to eligible beginning beekeepers who establish up to four colonies of honeybees in the state. By showing proof of purchase for two hives, a new beekeeper may receive reimbursement of up to $180 for one of the two hives and bees. Qualifying applicants can receive a maximum reimbursement of $360. Funding is limited, and attendance at workshops, recordkeeping requirements and other restrictions apply.

The program is administered through the Mississippi Beekeepers Association and is being funded through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Applicants must apply by April 1, 2009, by contacting state entomologist Harry Fulton at 662-325-3390 or harry@mdac.state.ms.us.

Montana Tractors Acquires Farmtrac Assets

Montana Tractors has closed on the acquisition of Farmtrac North America assets located in Tarboro, N.C. The acquisition, to include property and equipment, serves as a strategic addition to Montana’s business. Assets consist of tractors manufactured by both Escorts Ltd. and LS Mtron. Montana Tractors, a privately held corporation located in Springdale, Ark., distributes compact and utility tractors throughout its dealer base in North America.

CCOF Provides Financial Support to Organic Producers

California Certified Organic Farmers has introduced two initiatives to financially assist organic producers. Relief funding is being offered to certified organic members who have incurred losses due to natural disasters for the past three years. The second initiative is related to the 2008 Farm Bill’s Cost Share Funding Program. Certified organic operations that are eligible can apply to be reimbursed up to 75 percent of their organic certification costs, to a maximum of $750 per year.

CCOF has developed a guide and resources to help members secure these funds.

CCOF certifies more than 2,000 organic operations in 35 states and four foreign countries. More information on these initiatives can be found at www.ccof.org.