- According to the May 1998 issue of the Farm Service Agency Newsletter, California agriculture suffered $191.1 million in damages resulting from El Ni–o storms. Farmers in more than 36 counties have been affected, with damage and losses found in commodities including strawberries, wheat, alfalfa, broccoli, celery, almonds, and lettuce.
- Richard Gradwohl, director of the International Miniature Cattle Breeders Society, says miniatures are better suited to 2-10 acre homestead farms because they are easier on the land, equipment and facilities. He adds that smaller animals also need less feed, are less intimidating and easier to handle than larger animals, and have carcass weights that better match the proportion size and needs of today's smaller families.
- Established by the 1996 Farm Bill, the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) helps farmers, ranchers, and other landowners protect wildlife habitat. Participants prepare and implement a wildlife habitat development plan with assistance from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and their local conservation districts. WHIP provides cost-share assistance for up to 75 percent of the cost of instituting wildlife habitat practices. Cost-share payments of up to $10,000 are available for each WHIP agreement, which is in effect for a five to 10 year period. Contact your local USDA Service Center or NRCS office for more information.
- The University of Vermont Cooperative Extension Women's Agricultural Network (WAgN), offers a series of educational programs for women who want to own farms and related businesses in Vermont. Although intended primarily for Vermont women, the programs are open to other women and men as well. Contact Women's Agricultural Network, 590 Main St., University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405-0059; (802) 656-3276 for more information.