What’s Happening in RI Agriculture

Uncertain about how the Plastic Waste Reduction Act will affect your farm business?

Click here/graphic above for Guidance Document for Plastic Waste Reduction Act FAQ’s

Click here for the new R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-19.18-2 

USDA Announces Second Conservation Program Signup for Rhode Island Farmers and Forest Landowners

WARWICK, RI (January 25, 2024) – The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is announcing additional financial assistance opportunities for fiscal year 2024 for Rhode Island farmers and forest landowners. Through conservation programs, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to help farmers and forest landowners make conservation improvements on their land that benefit natural resources, build resiliency, and contribute to the nation’s broader effort to combat the impacts of climate change.

NRCS is opening a second ranking signup period for Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) climate-smart agriculture and forestry funding under the Conservation Stewardship (CSP) and Environmental Quality Incentives (EQIP) programs, as well as General Farm Bill program funding under the EQIPCSPNational Water Quality Incentives (NWQI)Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA), and Regional Conservation Partnership (RCPP) programs.

While NRCS accepts applications for these programs year-round, producers and landowners should apply by the following state-specific ranking dates to be considered for this year’s additional ranking opportunity.

Apply by March 15, 2024, for this second round of conservation funding

Current News, Program Updates and Deadlines for the
USDA Farm Service Agency

USDA Offers Disaster Assistance for Producers Facing Inclement Weather
 Severe weather events create significant challenges and can often result in catastrophic loss for agricultural producers. Despite every attempt to mitigate risk, your operation may suffer losses. USDA offers several programs to help with recovery.
While we never want to have to implement disaster programs, we are here to help. To file a Notice of Loss or to ask questions about available programs, contact the RI Farm Service Agency at 401-828-3120 Option 1. 
 For more information see section 4 below.
  1. Upcoming FSA Program Signup Deadlines

         January 2024

February 2024

2. Agency News

    • USDA to Begin Issuing Pandemic Assistance Revenue Program Payments The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that it will begin issuing more than $223 million in Pandemic Assistance Revenue Program (PARP) payments. These payments help producers who suffered a decrease in allowable gross revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic for the 2020 calendar year.
    • USDA Now Accepting Applications for Farm Loans Online The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched an online application for Direct Loan customers. More than 26,000 customers who submit a Direct Loan application each year can now use an online, interactive, guided application that is paperless and provides helpful features including an electronic signature option, the ability to attach supporting documents such as tax returns, complete a balance sheet and build a farm operating plan. This tool is part of a broader effort by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) to streamline its processes, improve customer service, and expand credit access.
    • USDA Announces December 2023 Lending Rates for Agricultural Producers The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced loan interest rates for December 2023, which are effective Dec. 1, 2023. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) loans provide important access to capital to help agricultural producers start or expand their farming operation, purchase equipment and storage structures or meet cash flow needs.   

3. Farmers.gov Local Dashboard Now Available for Producers in Rhode Island

  • Farmers in Rhode Island can now access county specific farming data and USDA resources all in one place via the new farmers.gov local dashboard. Your new farmers.gov local dashboard includes farming data and USDA resources including USDA news, commodity pricing, weather forecasts, historical climate data, past storm events, USDA service center locator and additional state resources for Rhode Island. The dashboard transforms complex data sets into easy-to-read charts and graphs to help you quickly find information that matters to you.

4. Disaster Assistance Programs Available

USDA Offers Disaster Assistance for Producers Facing Inclement Weather

 Severe weather events create significant challenges and can often result in catastrophic loss for agricultural producers. Despite every attempt to mitigate risk, your operation may suffer losses. USDA offers several programs to help with recovery.

While we never want to have to implement disaster programs, we are here to help. To file a Notice of Loss or to ask questions about available programs, contact the RI Farm Service Agency at 401-828-3120 Option 1. 

Risk Management

For producers who have risk protection through Federal Crop Insurance or the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), we want to remind you to report crop damage to your crop insurance agent or the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.

If you have crop insurance, contact your agency within 72 hours of discovering damage and be sure to follow up in writing within 15 days. If you have NAP coverage, file a Notice of Loss (also called Form CCC-576) within 15 days of loss becoming apparent, except for hand-harvested crops, which should be reported within 72 hours.

 Disaster Assistance

USDA also offers disaster assistance programs, which is especially important to livestock, fruit and vegetable, specialty and perennial crop producers who have fewer risk management options.

First, the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybee and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) reimburses producers for a portion of the value of livestock, poultry and other animals that died as a result of a qualifying natural disaster event or for loss of grazing acres, feed and forage.

The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) provides assistance to producers of grazed forage crop acres that have suffered crop loss due to a qualifying drought.  Livestock producers suffering the impacts of drought can also request Emergency Haying and Grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres.

Next, the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) provides cost share assistance to rehabilitate and replant tree, vines or shrubs loss experienced by orchards and nurseries. This complements NAP or crop insurance coverage, which cover the crop but not the plants or trees in all cases.

For LIP and ELAP, you will need to file a Notice of Loss for livestock and grazing or feed losses within 30 days and honeybee losses within 15 days. For TAP, you will need to file a program application within 90 days.


It’s critical to keep accurate records to document all losses following a devastating  weather event. Producers are advised to document by taking time and date-stamped video or pictures prior to and after the loss.

Other common documentation options include:

    • Purchase records
    • Production records
    • Vaccination records
    • Bank or other loan documents
    • Third-party certification

 Other Programs

The Emergency Conservation Program and Emergency Forest Restoration Program can assist landowners and forest stewards with financial and technical assistance to restore damaged farmland or forests.

Additionally, FSA offers a variety of loans available including emergency loans that are triggered by disaster declarations and operating loans that can assist producers with credit needs.  You can use these loans to replace essential property, purchase inputs like livestock, equipment, feed and seed, or refinance farm-related debts, and other needs.

Meanwhile, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides financial resources through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help with immediate needs and long-term support to help recover from natural disasters and conserve water resources. Assistance may also be available for emergency animal mortality disposal from natural disasters and other causes.

Additional Resources

Additional details – including payment calculations – can be found on our NAPELAP, LIP, and TAP fact sheets. On farmers.gov, the Disaster Assistance Discovery ToolDisaster-at-a-Glance fact sheet, and Farm Loan Discovery Tool can help you determine program or loan options.

Additional information can be found within our handy Disaster Assistance at a Glance brochure or at the RI FSA HomepageRI NRCS Homepage, or the RI RMA Homepage.

Please feel free to distribute this information as you see fit.  For more information regarding the latest FSA news and programs, please visit farmers.gov and the RI FSA Homepage For questions, feel free to reach out to me or contact the Rhode Island Farm Service Agency County Office located at 60 Quaker Lane Suite 49, Warwick RI at 401-828-3120 Option 1.  For Farm Loan questions, please contact our Farm Loan team at 401-828-3120 Option 2.

Thank you,

Leila Naylor
Administrative Specialist
USDA-Farm Service Agency
60 Quaker Lane Suite 62
Warwick, RI 02886

Gov. McKee, DEM Announce Over $1.5M in Grants to Build Resilience Across Rhode Island’s Food Supply Chain, Improve Processing Options for Local Producers and Businesses

PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee and the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announce that more than $1,500,000 in Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure (RFSI) Funding will be made available for projects that help support expanded capacity for the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, and distribution of locally produced food products, including specialty crops, dairy, grains for consumption, aquaculture, and other food products, excluding meat and poultry. DEM’s RFSI Grant Program provides grants that directly support middle of the supply chain activities in Rhode Island. The grant application period will open on Nov. 1 and closed Jan. 15.

DEM anticipates that approximately $1,500,000 will be awarded under this grant round. EM will also conduct supply chain coordination activities to develop and/or enhance initiatives that focus on business support and market development to benefit Rhode Island food systems and contributes to the success and impact of the RFSI Grant investments.

Two types of grants will be offered with this funding:

  • Infrastructure Grants: Will be awarded to projects starting at $200,000 unless otherwise noted in the RFP. Infrastructure grants have a required match component.
  • Special-Use Equipment Grants: Will be made up to a $100,000 maximum for special use equipment. No match is required for equipment grants.

For more information on the RFSI Grant Program, please visit DEM’s website. Applications must be completed online via the State of Rhode Island Grant’s Management System by Jan. 15, 2024, at 11:59 PM. Grant-related questions should be directed to Ananda Fraser, Chief Program Development in DEM’s Division of Agriculture and Forestry at 401-222-2781 Ext 2772411 or via email to DEM.RFSI@dem.ri.gov.

For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow DEM on Facebook, Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM), or Instagram (@rhodeisland.dem) for timely updates.

On-Farm Milk Storage & Handling Grant

jersey cow with yellow ear tag and brown collar

Grant Overview

The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC) announces the availability of funds through the On-Farm Milk Storage & Handling Grant program, which will provide grants for dairy farmers to access funds that support the purchase of equipment and other related costs that will improve milk storage, handling, and energy efficiencies. The focus of this grant is on the purchase of specialized equipment. Applicants will be able to select from a pre-approved list of eligible equipment which includes milk storage tanks, milk pipeline, glycol chillers, milk loading systems, reclaim systems for water, cooling equipment, plate coolers/heat exchangers, and equipment installation costs.

Projects funded by this grant will streamline milk pick up, create efficiencies around milk storage, and improve handling for both farmers and their processors. Successful applications will show reduced costs to the farmer and will improve efficiencies around the movement of milk, reduce frequency of milk pick up, and/or otherwise meet processors’ needs for improved storage and handling.

Grants are available to applicants in all 11 Northeast states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Grants will range from $15,000- $50,000 with a 25% match commitment. Match waivers are also available. FSA low-interest loans and other grants are encouraged to supplement the project. Total funds available: $800,000.

Watch a recording of our webinar on this grant and the Dairy Farm Improvement & Modernization Grant.


Applicants eligible for these funds are dairy farmers (producers) that:

  1. are headquartered or based in the Northeast; and
  2. produce milk within the Northeast; and
  3. are licensed dairy operations in compliance with all required state and/federal standards.

The Local Agriculture and Seafood Act Grant Application is CLOSED.

The RIDEM Division of Agriculture will award up to $650,000 in grant awards this round. The maximum grant award available to a farmer, individual, business (e.g., LLC) or non-profit organization is $20,000. Overhead and/or administrative costs are limited to 10% of total budget proposal.

The LASA grant program supports Agriculture, Fisheries, Aquaculture and Forestry industries by investing in Rhode Island’s small and beginning farms. The goal is to support the growth, development, and marketing of local food and seafood in Rhode Island.

2024 Funding Priorities

The LASA Advisory Committee sets priorities each grant year and makes recommendations to the Director of the RIDEM. Applicants are required to fulfill at least one (not all) of the funding priorities listed below.

  • Support the entry, growth, and/or sustainability of Socially DisadvantagedBeginningSmall, Women, and veteran agriculture and aquaculture producers and fishers

  • Support climate-smart agriculture mitigation activities and Climate Change related adaptations throughout the local Food System. 

  • Support the development of new marketing, promotion, sales, and/or distribution channels, including connecting local farms and fishers with Rhode Island’s food insecure communities.

  • Support the development of new products, including value added processing capacity.

  • Foster new cooperatives, partnerships, and/or collaborations among Rhode Island agriculture and aquaculture producers, and fishers and supporting organizations.

  • Protect the future availability of agricultural land for producers, including farm transition planning and implementation.

  • Assist with on farm Food Safety improvements including FSMA and HACCP Compliance

Applications CLOSED: November 30, 2022 at 11:59 PM
Awards announced: March 2024


Rhode Island 2023 Crop Loss Survey

With the help of URI’s CES and the USDA, FSA office, we are hoping to hear from you through this on-line, short survey RI 2023 Crop loss survey (or a call to the RI Farm Service Agency’s County Office at 401-828-3120 Option 1).

If you produce agricultural crops (including nursery stock) in Rhode Island and you experienced crop losses due to the February 3-4 deep freeze, the May 18th frost, or flooding in July 2023, please let us know.

This data will help document the extent of crop losses and will inform the public and decision-makers who may be considering actions that would provide emergency funds to Rhode Island producers beyond insurance payments and USDA programs. Producers should also report losses to the RI FSA County Office at 401-828-3120 Option 1.

This survey is being conducted by URI Extension and results will be shared with our partners at FSA and DEM. Please fill out this survey even if you have already reported losses to FSA or to your crop insurance agent. If you have questions about this survey please contact Heather Faubert, hfaubert@uri.edu

Again, click on the following link RI 2023 Crop loss survey to complete the survey.

If any of you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me, Leila Naylor, at Leila.naylor@usda.gov.

The 2024 Rhode Island Farm Scavenger Hunt is in the Works!

After a bumpy start taking on the RI Farm Scavenger Hunt, we are ready to roll for 2024! With our production fully local now, the Scavenger Hunts will be in place at all participating farms for the traditional May 1 start.

Are you a farm that would like to participate? We have a handful of spots available and would love to have you on the list!

• $165 per farm to participate. (We provide fliers, brochure holder, stickers, hole punch.)
• Each farm is required to honor up to 10 coupons for $5 each for prizes. Grand Prize is on us.
• RI Farm Bureau Affiliation not required (but welcomed!)

Questions? Want to join this increasingly popular event? Call Heidi at RI Farm Bureau 401-385-3339 or email rifarm@rifb.org.

Check out this nice article in Hey Rhody magazine on our RI Farm Scavenger Hunt!

Spotted Lanternfly Detected in RI In August 2023

It looks so pretty, but it’s actually the very damaging Spotted lanternfly adult (left) and fourth instar nymph (right). Photo credit: USDA APHIS.

The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is an invasive planthopper currently spreading through the Mid-Atlantic and Eastern US.  On August 9, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management says it sprayed pesticides along the Route 7 corridor in several communities to fight an infestation of the spotted lanternfly.

The department says it sprayed along Douglas Pike, or Route 7, in Smithfield, Lincoln, and North Providence.

Link to WJAR article.

The potential spread of this insect threatens our region’s grape, tree fruit, hardwood, and green industries. Please click the photo above to go to the RI DEM Division of Agriculture Spotted Lanternfly page for more information.

DEM said if you come across a suspected spotted lanternfly, especially in the North Providence, Smithfield and Lincoln area, they ask you to take a photo , kill the insect, collect a specimen and report it on their designated form.

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza 2022-2023 Outbreak

On Friday, October 21, 2022, the state Department of Environmental Management euthanized a small, backyard flock of chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys on a farm in Newport County, Rhode Island, after confirming that some had been infected with HPAI.  This is the first confirmation of the HPAI  virus in a domestic flock in Rhode Island, and is currently the only detection from this current outbreak.  In July 2022, a great black-backed gull found seriously ill on a South Kingstown beach tested positive for HPAI. Since then, there have been a total of 11 wild bird detections in Rhode Island, the most recent in March 2023.

From February 8, 2022 through December 18, 2023, USDA has announced more than detections in 435 commercial and 597 backyard flocks across 47 states, with a total of over 76 million birds affected (number of birds on confirmed affected premises).  In addition there have been 8,365 detections in wild birds across 49 states. (Only Hawaii has remained unaffected from either domestic or wild bird detection.)  For up-to-date information, please visit the USDA APHIS site: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian/avian-influenza/hpai-2022.

For some very detailed information about this outbreak, particularly vs the 2014/15 HPAI Outbreak, visit AFBF’s Market Intel “Breaking Down the HPAI Outbreak”

The following February 22, 2022 update is from Dr. Scott Marshall, RI State Veterinarian.

State and federal animal health officials are monitoring for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). HPAI is a virus that is relatively common in wild waterfowl and is well-adapted in that population in that it rarely causes disease. However, when domestic poultry are infected with HPAI it can result in mortality rates approaching 100%. HPAI has been detected in hunter harvested wild waterfowl along the East Coast from Canada to FL. Canada had experienced some infections of domestic poultry but the USA did not until about 2 weeks ago when a turkey farm in Indiana was diagnosed. Since then there have been an additional 3 commercial poultry farms in IN, 2 commercial farms in KY, and backyard farms in VA, NY, and ME. The findings in NY and ME came in over the weekend with the NY finding being fairly close to RI on Long Island.

I have been the State Veterinarian for 15 years and we have always prepared for HPAI. In my tenure there has been one major HPAI outbreak (2015-2016) primarily in the upper Midwest and one relatively small one in 2022 in the Southern USA. Those were quite distant from RI and the monitoring of wild birds for HPAI with those outbreaks didn’t show that we were high risk. This is different because of the proximity of HPAI detections in both wild and domestic birds in the Northeast. If there is a silver lining with this virus it appears that it is not a threat to public health. Public health officials have long predicted that the “next great pandemic” would be an influenza virus, probably avian origin. Well, we all know how that went 2+ years into COVID. That said, CDC and USDA are monitoring the virus for any characteristics that would make it likely to infect people, and thus far they are not seeing any.

The purpose of this email is really twofold. First is for your situational awareness as agriculture partners and stakeholders. Second is that you personally, or your organizations, may provide services to poultry farms. Therefore I ask that you please review this site for important information on the current HPAI outbreak, and also for information on biosecurity. The biosecurity information includes practices that you all should be taking so that you don’t spread HPAI if you visit poultry farms, and also information you can pass onto your customer/client so they can protect their poultry assets.  USDA Defend the Flock Program 

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

Scott N. Marshall, DVM
Deputy Chief / RI State Veterinarian
Division of Agriculture and Forest Environment
Tel: (401) 222- 2781 Ext 2774503


Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street | Room 370 | Providence, RI 02908

The virus is spread primarily through fecal droppings and respiratory droplets and can contaminate feed or water sources that wild birds have access to.

RI DEM asks that you contact the State Veterinarian, Scott Marshall, DVM, if your flock is having any illness or mortality event. You can reach him via email at scott.marshall@dem.ri.gov or by calling 401-222-2781 X2774503.

Preventing Diseases Spread by Livestock and Backyard Flocks

With the official start of spring, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) would like to remind retailers and consumers to take steps to protect your health from diseases, such as salmonella, that can be passed from livestock and backyard livestock flocks to humans.
Backyard poultry can carry germs that can make people sick even if they look clean and healthy. You can take these simple steps to prevent getting sick:
Please follow these steps to protect yourself:

    • Wash hands with soap and water right after touching livestock, flocks, and flock supplies
    • Don’t kiss or snuggle the birds
    • Keep flock and flock supplies outside the house
    • Never eat, drink, or put anything in your mouth around animals.
    • Older adults, pregnant women, and young children should be extra careful around animals.

Below are some fact sheets and infographics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on this topic. To help keep people safe, we would appreciate it if you would share with your customers by posting them or making them available at your store or considering posting them on social media:

Thank you for your cooperation and assistance in keeping Rhode Islanders healthy and safe. To learn more, please visit this website: Backyard Poultry | Healthy Pets, Healthy People | CDC.

GAP Certified Producers

Along with implementing food safety practices, farms covered by the Produce Safety Rule and/or involved with the RI GAP program (Good Agricultural Practices) will need to keep some records. Visit URI’s new webpage [uri.edu] to access free templates designed to assist Rhode Island produce growers with record requirements and/or for farms wanting to make food safety a priority.

RI GAP Certification

Thinking of becoming a RI GAP Certified Grower?
Want to learn more about Produce Safety in Rhode Island?
The first step is to take the RI GAP/Produce Safety Rule Grower Training.  
Sign-up for the RI GAP/PSR training waitlist by clicking this link and you will be notified once dates become available!

RI Produce Farm Registration

Do you grow, harvest, pack or hold produce?
Have you registered your produce farm for 2023?
All Produce Farms in Rhode Island are now required to register annually with the RIDEM Division of Agriculture.
If you grow, harvest, pack or hold produce for sale in Rhode Island you must register with the Division of Agriculture – Produce Safety Program on an annual basis.
Registration can be completed easily on the DEM website.
If you have questions, please contact Ananda Fraser – ananda.fraser@dem.ri.gov

Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center 

NEW Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center website!

The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center offers grants and contracts for dairy farmersprocessors, and service providers.

Click this link to go to our Grants page for more.

Storm Damage?

For the most complete and  up-to-date disaster information on our website, go to our Emergency Resources page.


(Click Link Above)

Reminder for farmers about sales tax obligations

Those who make retail sales of taxable items must collect and remit tax

We received this notice from the Rhode Island Department of Revenue Division of Taxation in early June.  It is a reminder that farms that make retail sales of taxable items must collect and remit Rhode Island sales tax on those items.

Please see the linked notice here.

The  USDA Farmers Guide to Farm Bill programs contains comprehensive information about all NRCS, FSA and RMA programs.  Click the picture below for details or call any of the offices below for program information.
Rhode Island USDA FSA County Office can be reached at 401-828-1320 Option 2https://www.fsa.usda.gov/state-offices/Rhode-Island/index
Rhode Island NRCS can be reached at 401-828-1300.  https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/ri/home/
Risk Management Agency can be reached at 919-875-4880.  They provide crop insurance.  https://www.rma.usda.gov/en/RMALocal/Rhode-Island

Rhode Island Farmers: Become an
authorized SNAP retailer

Rhode Island farmers: you can open a new market for your business while helping your less fortunate neighbors during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn how to apply to be an authorized retailer to accept SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — formerly Food Stamp Program) benefits. This will allow you to accept SNAP benefits at your retail farm stand, CSA, and through home delivery. Click here for the Guidebook.

Soil Nutrient Analysis

It’s planting season and with that comes the question: Where can I get my soil tested.  At this time we recommend Midwest Labs in Kansas.

RIDEM Division of Agriculture & Forest Environment
Seasonal Position Postings

SEASONAL PLANT HEALTH SUPPORT INTERN–Nursery Inspection, Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey, Organic Certification.

These positions in the Plant Industry/Plant Health Section of the RIDEM Division of Agriculture and Forestry include conducting inspection of nursery stock to determine presence of plant pests for certification of nurseries, surveying and inspecting for detection of exotic, invasive agricultural pests, assisting the organic certification program which certifies organic crops and livestock producers, and other related duties including assisting other programs in the Division as needed.




Seasonal Health and Safety Interns conduct statewide surveillance for mosquito-borne diseases. This program is based at East Farm, URI. Interns may assist, as needed, with other programs in the Agric. and Forestry Div. Contact Al Gettman 640-4504


Free Soil Testing for Landowners!

RI State Conservation Committee (RISCC) has a soil health agreement with NRCS by which they do free soil testing for landowners. The program is absolutely free, and after the results are back, the appropriate conservation district will work with the landowner on programs he/she may want to implement based on results. Please see the attachment below for more information.


Have a Comprehensive Soil Health Assessment conducted on your cropland, hayland or pasture. This Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) for enhancing Soil Health provides access to Cornell University’s Comprehensive Assessment of Soil Health when you apply for technical assistance. The Conservation District Soil Health staff will collect soil samples fr m your property, send the samples to Cornell Soil Health Testing Lab and interpret those results in a Soil Health Management Plan.

Soil Health Program Fact Sheet

Ford $500 Bonus Cash!

Rhode Island Farm Bureau (RIFB) is pleased to announce the newest member benefit. Farm Bureau members in Rhode Island can now receive a $500 Bonus Cash offer from Ford Motor Company on a purchase or lease of a new qualifying vehicle.  Please click here for more information.  Click here to print your certificate.

As RIFB renewals are rolling out, remember to keep your membership current to maintain your American National* Insurance discount!

 American National offers a full line of insurance products through a local agent. That way they can help you ensure that your property and liability insurance needs are covered. So, whether it’s auto, home, life, farm or business insurance, you can feel confident you’re getting options to fit your lifestyle and budget.

Your current Rhode Island Farm Bureau membership entitles you to discounts on:

– 5% discount for personal auto
– 3%  discount for the SFP, including Country Estate Insurance
– 3% BOP discount up to $100. (Certain classes not eligible for the discount, ask your agent.)

Contact your American National agent to make sure you are getting the best discount.

Not an American National Insurance customer? To find out more about American National Insurance, click the following link to find an agent near you.  www.americannational.com.

*Previously know as Farm Family under the American National umbrella.

RI Sales Tax Exemption on Seeds and Plants

Late this spring we had several calls  regarding the Sales Tax Exemption on Seeds and Plants.  We are happy to say that after considerable work trying to get seeds and plants used to grow food and food ingredients exempted from the state sales tax, the following changes were passed in last year’s state budget. State Budget link here. Page 178, lines 11-14.

Here is the much abbreviated, relevant text.
Sales and Use Taxes – Liability and Computation
SECTION 44-18-30
§ 44-18-30. Gross receipts exempt from sales and use taxes
There are exempted from the taxes imposed by this chapter the following gross receipts:
(65) Seeds and plants used to grow food and food ingredients. From the sale, storage, use, or other consumption in this state of seeds and plants used to grow food and food ingredients as defined in § 44-18-7.1(l)(i). “Seeds and plants used to grow food and food ingredients” shall not include marijuana seeds or plants.
44-18-7.1(l)(i).   “Food and food ingredients” means substances, whether in liquid, concentrated, solid, frozen, dried, or dehydrated form, that are sold for ingestion or chewing by humans and are consumed for their taste or nutritional value and seeds and plants used to grow food and food ingredients. “Food and food ingredients” does not include “alcoholic beverages”, “tobacco”, “candy”, “dietary supplements”, “soft drinks”, or “marijuana seeds or plants.”


The Rhode Island Farm Bureau is an independent, non-governmental, voluntary organization of farm and ranch families united for the purpose of analyzing their problems and formulating action to achieve advancement and, thereby, to promote the national well-being.

Farm Bureau is local, county, state, national, and international in its scope and influence and is non-partisan, non-sectarian and non-secret in character. Farm Bureau is the voice of agricultural producers at all levels.

Statement from 1997 Policy Manual of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Support Rhode Island Farms by joining the Rhode Island Farm Bureau.

Your Membership in RIFB entitles you to …

  • A complete line of insurance services through the American National- Farm Family Insurance Companies
    Discounts available on Automobile, Special Farm Packages (inc. Country Estate) & BOP
  • Discounts on Case IH, CAT, Dungarees.com, Grainger and John Deere
  • Discount at participating Choice hotels and Wyndham hotels
  • Discounts from Avis and Budget.
  • Thousands of additional discounts when you use your membership number and log into Access Benefits.

Click here to learn more about RIFB membership benefits.