John Whitaker, director of the Iowa FSA office, says whether producers are in the field, on a tractor or even on horseback, this service enables vital notifications to get through.
“What we’re trying to do is get immediate, important messages out to producers, say a deadline that’s approaching or, like last weekend, when we had severe weather and there were livestock losses,” Whitaker says, “just important information they can use right at their fingertips.”
While producers nationwide can sign on to the program, Whitaker says the texts can be sent on a county-by-county basis and all messages will come from your nearest county office. “The idea is, we don’t want you to get messages from the entire country,” he says. “We want these to be very specific to the county office, particularly if it’s something like storm damage or crop reporting or something like that.”
The goal is to quickly disseminate the information producers need. “We don’t spend as much money on paper newsletters as we did years ago,” Whitaker says. “Sometimes, we only send a couple a year instead of one every month. It helps us control our costs when we do that but we want to get the information out to producers in a timely manner.”
Contact your local FSA office for details.
(By Scott Van Aartsen, KIWA, Sheldon)