Halpin looks forward to FSA role


GARDNER – The newly-named state executive director of the Farm Service Agency is excited about his role.


Scott Halpin from the Gardner area looks forward to helping Illinois agriculture through the variety of programs offered by FSA. The Gardner-South Wilmington High School graduate farms in that area with his father and brother, raising corn, soybeans, hay and beef cattle.


Halpin has been involved with several groups during his lifetime.


“I sat on my Soil and Water board for several years in Grundy County,” Halpin told the Central Illinois Farm Network. “Other than that, I’ve had a lot of Farm Bureau experience through the Young Leaders and served my 10 years on the IAA Board.”


Since his time on the IAA Board, Halpin has served on his local county Farm Bureau board. As state executive director for FSA, he will help oversee all operations of the Illinois FSA which is based in Springfield. Halpin notes the network of individual county offices impact farmers all throughout the state.


Due to increased rates of COVID-19 transmission, most Illinois USDA Service Centers are closed to visitors but are staffed on-site and remotely to continue working with producers via telephone, e-mail or other digital means. Halpin suggests calling ahead before visiting an office to check on the current status.


“These offices are open and completing the business that needs to be done,” Halpin said.


Farmers should keep several deadlines in mind, including applications which must be filed by Jan. 31 for the Livestock Indemnity Program, Livestock Forage Program and Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program. Producers in Boone, Cook, DeKalb, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Winnebago counties are eligible to apply for Livestock Forage Disaster Program benefits.


“The next really important deadline would be the designation between ARC and PLC programs and those programs (sign-ups) run through March 15,” Halpin explained.


ARC and PLC provide future protections against market fluctuations. The election and enrollment period opened on Oct. 18.

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