For the first time in 10 years, Boyd County will offer the County Agricultural Improvement Program, or CAIP. The program is overseen by the Kentucky Agriculture Development Board and will include all the aspects of the program, not just lime, as was the case 10 years ago.
The cost share on this is 75% through 25%, with the 25% being the farmer’s end. To qualify to be reimbursed the whole $1,000, you will have to spend $1,333. Still, all in all, not a bad deal. Or if you do not need the full $1,000, you can apply for a smaller amount.
Funding comes from Phase I tobacco money surrounding counties have been receiving for years, but more, giving us a chance o do the cost-share program with our county farmers.
Here's how it works: Moeny comes from tobacco companies who agreed to these annual payments as part of the Master Settlement Agreement, about 20 years ago. The money is divided according to legislation that was passed, and a portion of that tobacco company money goes into programs that directly help farmers.
Part of it is applied for and awarded at the state level, but a portion of it is available only to a county. Each county has a different portion that can come to them, based on how much tobacco was being raised in the county at the time of the settlement.
Being a county that was not traditionally a large producer of tobacco, the amount that comes to Boyd County annually is around $2,000, depending on the year.
Larger tobacco-producing counties have gotten as much as a half-million dollars as that year’s allotment. Others actually get zero annually because there was no tobacco being grown in that county.
Each county, even the ones who get no annual funds, has a local County Ag Development Council. This council is set by KRS. Two members each are appointed by: County Conservation District; FSA or Farm Services Agency; and the County Extension Service.
In addition, these six members, appoint three at-large members. Of this nine-member council, at least one has to be a young farmer (younger than 40) and one has to be a minority, either by gender, race, ethnicity, etc.
There also has to be a tax-exempt entity who fills out an application to administer the program and funds. The application spells out how the money will be spent. It is then submitted to the county council for approval and then sent to the state Ag Development Board for their approval.
In the past, the council has saved funds and then it has been applied for and spent on several pieces of shared use equipment. This include a bale wrapper, a sprayer, a seeder and several other pieces available for checkout by anyone who lives or farms in Boyd County.
But this year, for only the second time (the first time was limited to purchasing shared use equipment) the state ADB made a special allocation from the state funds to the counties who receive the least amount of annual funds.
This, combined with the funds that the county council had saved over the past several years, was applied for, and approved, to be spent through a CAIP program offering.
To be clear, the Extension office does not administer these funds. We are, by state, attached to this program as and educational and advisory entity only. In Boyd County, the administrative entity is the Conservation Board. Their office manager has been trained annually on how to administer these funds, along with all of the legal and accountability that goes along with that responsibility.
Here are some important dates for Boyd Couty farmers:
• June 10 at 6 p.m. and June 14 at 1 p.m. — Nonrequired, informational meetings at the Boyd County Extension Education Center (fairgrounds). Information on getting applications will be offered.
• June 22 — Meeting for anyone who needs to complete a Kentucky Ag Water Quality Plan. An AWQP must be completed and on fill at the county Conservation Office before any funds can be reimbursed. This is not a county rule, it is a state requirement. There is no cost for this.
• June 24 — Beef Quality and Care Assurance training, required for anyone who wants to apply for the Large Animal part of the CAIP offering. This is the program where you can but a bull or heifer and get part of the cost reimbursed.
Deadline for applications is 4 p.m. July 16 at Boyd County Conservation Office. No late applications will be accepted.
After the applications are in, they will be graded by an independent scoring committee, per state rules. Then all applicants will be notified of the results.
The applications, application process, scoring and all possible CAIP program areas will be explained at the informational meetings. If the current COVID restrictions and guidelines are in place, the meetings will be limited to 80; masks will be required and social distancing will be in place.
If you have questions about these meeting or the CAIP program, call the Boyd County Conservation or Extension Offices.
LYNDALL HARNED is Boyd County Extention agent for agriculture and natural resources.