Tuesday, April 26, 2016

USDA Information

Useful information from USDA...

 

Report Livestock Losses

The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) provides assistance to eligible producers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather and attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law. LIP compensates livestock owners and contract growers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather, including losses due to hurricanes, floods, blizzards, wildfires, extreme heat or extreme cold.
For 2016, eligible losses must occur on or after Jan. 1, 2016, and before December 31, 2016. A notice of loss must be filed with FSA within 30 days of when the loss of livestock is apparent.  Participants must provide the following supporting documentation to their local FSA office no later than 90 calendar days after the end of the calendar year for which benefits are requested:
  • Proof of death documentation
  • Copy of growers contracts
  • Proof of normal mortality documentation
USDA has established normal mortality rates for each type and weight range of eligible livestock, i.e. Adult Beef Cow = 1.5% and Non-Adult Beef Cattle (less than 400 pounds) = 3%. These established percentages reflect losses that are considered expected or typical under “normal” conditions. Producers who suffer livestock losses in 2016 must file both of the following:
  • A notice of loss the earlier of 30 calendar days of when the loss was apparent or by January 30, 2017
  • An application for payment by March 31, 2017.
Additional Information about LIP is available at your local FSA office or online at: www.fsa.usda.gov.

USDA Offers Help to Farmers and Ranchers Affected by Natural Disasters

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds farmers and ranchers affected by recent wildfires, tornadoes and flooding that USDA has programs to assist with their recovery efforts. If you've experienced loss or damage to fencing, farm structures, livestock or other agricultural losses, contact your county's FSA office as soon as possible to report damage.
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) can assist farmers and ranchers who lost livestock, grazing land, fences or eligible trees, bushes and vines as a result of a natural disaster. FSA administers a suite of safety-net programs to help producers recover from eligible losses, including the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Livestock Forage Disaster Programthe Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program, and the Tree Assistance Program.
In addition, the FSA Emergency Conservation Program provides funding and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters and for carrying out emergency water conservation measures in periods of severe drought. Producers located in counties that received a primary or contiguous disaster designation are eligible for low-interest emergency loans to help them recover from production and physical losses. Compensation is also available to producers who purchased coverage through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, which protects non-insurable crops against natural disasters that result in lower yields, crop losses or prevented planting. To establish or retain FSA program eligibility, farmers and ranchers must report prevented planting and failed acres (crops and grasses). Prevented planting acreage must be reported on form FSA-576, Notice of Loss, no later than 15 calendar days after the final planting date as established by FSA and Risk Management Agency (RMA).
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) can assist producers with damaged grazing land as well as farmers, ranchers and forestland owners who find themselves in emergency situations caused by natural disasters. The NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program provides financial assistance to producers who agree to defer grazing on damaged land for two years. In the event that presidentially declared natural disasters, such as wildfires, lead to imminent threats to life and property, NRCS can assist local government sponsors with the cost of implementing conservation practices to address natural resource concerns and hazards through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program.
Farmers and ranchers with coverage through the federal crop insurance program administered by the Risk Management Agency (RMA) should contact their crop insurance agent to discuss losses due to fire or other natural causes of loss. Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator.
When wildfires destroy or severely damage residential property, Rural Development (RD) can assist with providing priority hardship application processing for single family housing. Under a disaster designation, RD can issue a priority letter for next available multi-family housing units. RD also provides low-interest loans to community facilities, water environmental programs, businesses and cooperatives and to rural utilities.
For the first time in its 110-year history, the Forest Service, part of USDA, is spending more than 50 percent of its budget to suppress the nation's wildfires.
Today, fire seasons are 78 days longer than in the 1970s. Since 2000, at least 10 states have had their largest fires on record. This year, there have been more than 46,000 fires. Increasing development near forest boundaries also drives up costs, as more than 46 million homes and more than 70,000 communities are at risk from wildfire in the United States.
Visit http://go.usa.gov/3eDeF to learn more about USDA disaster preparedness and response.  For more information on USDA disaster assistance programs, please contact your local USDA Service Center. To find your local USDA Service Center go to http://offices.usda.gov 

USDA Expands Microloans to Help Farmers Purchase Farmland and Improve Property

Producers, Including Beginning and Underserved Farmers, Have a New Option to Gain Access to Land.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering farm ownership microloans, creating a new financing avenue for farmers to buy and improve property. These microloans are especially helpful to beginning or underserved farmers, U.S. veterans looking for a career in farming, and those who have small and mid-sized farming operations.
The microloan program, which celebrates its third anniversary this week, has been hugely successful, providing more than 16,800 low-interest loans, totaling over $373 million to producers across the country. Microloans have helped farmers and ranchers with operating costs, such as feed, fertilizer, tools, fencing, equipment, and living expenses since 2013. Seventy percent of loans have gone to new farmers.
Now, microloans will be available to also help with farm land and building purchases, and soil and water conservation improvements. FSA designed the expanded program to simplify the application process, expand eligibility requirements and expedite smaller real estate loans to help farmers strengthen their operations. Microloans provide up to $50,000 to qualified producers, and can be issued to the applicant directly from the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA).
This microloan announcement is another USDA resource for America’s farmers and ranchers to utilize, especially as new and beginning farmers and ranchers look for the assistance they need to get started. To learn more about the FSA microloan program visit www.fsa.usda.gov/microloans, or contact your local FSA office. To find your nearest office location, please visit http://offices.usda.gov.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Investing in the Future


The skills and leadership for success later in life are often imparted at a young age. Inspiring young people to lead as well as setting and accomplishing goals builds a foundation which supports potential achievement in the future
As the nation’s largest youth development organization, 4-H boasts a network of more than 6 million youth across 3,007 counties throughout the United States. Futures in agricultural have been particularly influenced by the development offered through 4-H, whose mission it to empower youth to reach their full potential. 4-H provides research-driven programming and hands-on learning to create a foundation of leadership and skills for success.
With 611,800 volunteers, 3,500 professionals and over 25 million alumni, 4-H supports young people interested in a future in farming among countless other careers by shaping leaders and innovators. With a motto stating “to make the best better” and a slogan of, “learn by doing,” 4-H is centered on four core values; Head, Heart, Hands and Health. These values are all integral parts of “The 4-H Pledge” where youth pledge to clearer thinking, greater loyalty, larger service and better living.
These values have proven results evident through a decade-long, Tufts University study. According to the findings of that study, 4-H youth are more likely to make contributions to their communities, be civically active, make healthier choices and participate in science, engineering and computer technology programs outside of school.
A dedication to learning and understanding just how 4-H helps youth has a direct correlation to the lifelong benefits of the program. 4-H is committed to researching methods for positive youth development, partnering with leading corporations, foundations and organizations and maintaining strategic alliances. One of the most significant impacts has come from the Cooperative Extension partnership which brings together the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, land-grant universities and county government to provide learning opportunities for 4-H youth.
As youth across the nation are responding to challenges daily, 4-H prepares young people to make a positive impact in their communities and the world. If you or your children have an interest in farming, we can help make that dream a reality, through the purchase of land or by relocating to the country. Contact us today, we’d be happy to help.
Source: http://www.4-h.org/about/   

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

United Country Real Estate Celebrates 90 Years of Innovation in Lifestyle and Rural Real Estate


United Country Real Estate Celebrates 90 Years of Innovation in Lifestyle and Rural Real Estate
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Celebration to be Held at National Training and Awards Convention

February 19, 2016 – (KANSAS CITY, Mo.) – United Country Real announced its 90-year anniversary celebration will be held at the Training and Awards Convention held in New Orleans Feb. 24-26.  During the convention, United Country agents, office owners and auctioneers from across the United States will come together to celebrate the historic milestone and participate in hands-on training, networking events and learning sessions on new innovations the company is launching in the upcoming year..
They will also have a chance to hear from industry leaders and learn new tools and techniques in breakout sessions. The keynote speaker for the upcoming event is Dan Elzer, national trainer and consultant with The Training Academy. He will be discussing how to achieve long-lasting success in real estate. Kathleen Guzman, MAPCO and Williams Presidential Professor of Law, will be a featured guest speaker and will discuss cutting -edge topics in real estate law. Other speakers include Gerald Clerx, international speaker and author, addressing the latest in client relationship development, Steve Roberson, new GIS advanced mapping programs, and John Davies, founder and CEO of Sunbelt to train technique for selling operating businesses associate with commercial real estate.
“The innovative spirit that this company was founded on has continued to flourish throughout the past 90 years,” said Mike Duffy, president of United Country Real Estate. “This week, we will focus on continuing that spirit and our original promise to deliver exclusive strategies to more broadly expose lifestyle real estate across the U.S. and internationally. Our objective at this year’s convention is to launch new systems and programs designed to lead United Country into the next 90 years and celebrate our innovative and successful history.”
United Country was founded by Roscoe Chamberlain in 1925. It changed the real estate industry forever in 1928 by producing the first national real estate catalog to expose local small city, town and surrounding properties for sale on a much broader scale. That original catalog is recognized as a true marketing innovation for the time and housed in the Smithsonian Institution.  Today, the company leads the industry in internet marketing, buyer databases, e-marketing and specialty marketing.  United Country is recognized as the nation’s leading lifestyle, small city and rural real estate company.
The event will be held at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, 209 Poydras Street, New Orleans. To learn more about the United Country Training and Awards Convention, visit www.UCConvention.com.
About United Country Real Estate
United Country Real Estate –is the leading, fully integrated network of conventional and auction real estate professionals. The company has been an innovator in lifestyle and country real estate marketing since 1925. United Country supports nearly 500 offices and 5,000 real estate professionals selling over $4 billion across four continents, with a unique, comprehensive marketing program. The exclusive program includes the highest ranked and largest portfolios of specialty property marketing websites, unequaled national print advertising, the largest internal real estate advertising agency, an extensive buyer database of more than 550,000 opt-in buyers and additional proprietary programs to advertise local properties more broadly.

NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS
2820 NW Barry Road, Kansas City, MO 64154
816-420-6200  www.unitedcountry.com

Members of the media needing information on United Country or our marketplace, contact
Angela Smith, Public Relations & Social Media Manager
Phone: 816.620.6241 or Email: asmith@unitedcountry.com
 
  
All materials contained as part of United Country's website cannot be broadcast, duplicated,
edited, manipulated or published without permission.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

United Country Celebrates 90 Years of History

United Country Celebrates 90 Years of History

by Angela Smith on November 24, 2015
Logo
United Country has come a long way since its humbled beginnings in 1925. Founded by Roscoe L. Chamberlain, United Country aimed to provide a “roadmap to the country.” This year, we celebrate nine decades of accomplishments and milestones and look forward to a bright future.
The History                        
In August 1925, Chamberlain founded United Farm Agency based on the large foreclosure numbers of farms on which bank loans were being made. The first office was opened in Fayetteville, Ark., in 1925. By the end of 1926, there were 42 offices with 245 sales recorded.  In 1928, the United Farm Agency Catalog – the first real estate catalog in history – was published. This original catalog is now in the Smithsonian.  Our United Country Catalog remains an important marketing tool today.
United has survived both the Great Depression and World War II.  In the 1950’s post-war boom, the company continued to grow and extended their national headquarters to downtown Kansas City, Mo.  By 1952, United recorded their 50,000th sale.
The 1960’s and 1970’s brought a lot of changes to farming, ranching and rural living. The company also took a colorful turn with the launch of the first catalog with a color cover in 1971. We also recorded our 200,000th sale.
Technological advances paved the way for innovation and growth for United in the 1980’s and 1990’s. In 1983, the company introduced the first computerized property located service to respond to buyer inquires. In 1984, the company rebranded as United National Real Estate.  Computers and the internet continued to flourish in the 1990’s, changing the way United did business. In 1997, United National Real Estate became United Country Real Estate – defining our commitment to serving farm, ranch, recreational, rural and lifestyle real estate clients.  That same year, United Country became a franchise organization with offices all over the United States.
Today
United Country is now the nation’s largest integrated organization of real estate and auction professionals with more than 5,000 real estate professionals and 500 offices. Headquartered in Kansas City, we offer an extensive list of specialty websites, exclusive national real estate catalogs, national media coverage, e-marketing, social media marketing and a large buyer database. Our websites receive more than 3 million visitors per month. Our primary website, www.UnitedCountry.com, is the number one lifestyle real estate website.
United Country specializes in small city and town residential and commercial properties, ranches, farms, timberland, resorts, vacation and second homes, coastal and mountain properties as well as many other “lifestyle” type properties.
To learn more about United Country or find out how our real estate experts can help you buy or sell your property, contact us at 800-999-1020.
Contributing writer: Michael Farren, copywriter

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

United Real Estate Group Named One of Fastest Growing Companies in America

United Real Estate Group Named One
of Fastest Growing Companies in America
August 25, 2015 (KANSAS CITY, Mo.) – Inc. Magazine, a national magazine that focuses on growing companies, announced this week that United Real Estate Group made its 2015 Inc. 5000 list. The list recognizes the 5,000 fastest growing private companies in the nation. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s independent entrepreneurs. Many well-known companies gained early exposure as members of the Inc. 5000.

“We are thrilled to get this recognition,” said Dan Duffy, chief executive officer of United Real Estate Group. “It’s a testament to the hard work of not only the home office staff, but all of the agents, brokers and auctioneers who have made United what it is today.”

United Real Estate Group operates United Country Real Estate, United Country Auction Services, United Real Estate and Enhanced Marketing Solutions. It is the leading fully-integrated network of conventional and auction real estate professionals globally. The Inc. 5000 ranks companies according to their percentage growth of revenue over the last three years. United Real Estate Group grew 161 percent in revenue and added 13 jobs.

According to the Inc. 5000 website, being on the list provides national recognition, boosts employee morale and provides public acknowledgement for company-wide success despite a recession.

“The story of this year’s Inc. 5000 is the story of great leadership. In an incredibly competitive business landscape, it takes something extraordinary to take your company to the top,” said Eric Schurenberg, Inc. president and editor-in-chief. “You have to remember that the average company on the Inc. 5000 grew nearly six-fold since 2012. Business owners don’t achieve that kind of success by accident."

For more information or to view the full Inc. 5000 list, visit www.Inc5000.com.

About United Real Estate Holdings

United Real Estate Holdings, operating the United Country Real Estate and United Real Estate brands, addresses the unique markets they serve, rural and urban, with exclusive marketing, technology and training solutions. Together the United brands support nearly 600 offices and 5,000 real estate professionals across four continents with a unique, comprehensive marketing program that includes one of the largest portfolios of real estate websites, the largest internal real estate marketing services company, an extensive buyer database of more than 550,000 opt-in buyers, and regional, national and international advertising programs for properties. For more information about United Country Real Estate or United Real Estate, please visit www.UnitedCountry.com or www.UnitedRealEstate.com.

NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS
2820 NW Barry Road, Kansas City, MO 64154
816-420-6200  www.unitedcountry.com

Members of the media needing information on United Country or our marketplace, contact
Angela Smith, Public Relations & Social Media Manager
Phone: 816.620.6241 or Email: angelas@unitedcountry.com

  
All materials contained as part of United Country's website cannot be broadcast, duplicated,
edited, manipulated or published without permission.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

United Country Real Estate Accelerates Growth Plans

United Country Real Estate Accelerates Growth Plans

McCarthy Capital Invests in Leading Lifestyle Real Estate Firm to Fuel Innovative Model

June 3, 2015 (KANSAS CITY, Mo.) - United Country Real Estate - a division of United Real Estate Holdings and the leading lifestyle- and rural-focused real estate franchising company - announced today that it has partnered with McCarthy Capital Fund V ("McCarthy Capital") to more aggressively drive its rapid expansion. McCarthy Capital currently manages nearly $1 billion of investment capital across its portfolio specializing in helping grow strong businesses in partnership with existing management.

"The McCarthy Capital team brings a great deal of proven expertise to the table and will help us accelerate the realization of our long-term strategy," said Dan Duffy, chief executive officer of United Real Estate Holdings. "With the track record that McCarthy Capital presents and the quality and experience of their group, we couldn't have hoped for a better partner as we move forward."

The growth capital allows United Country Real Estate to operate with excess liquidity and a strong balance sheet to effectuate its business strategies. Existing management will remain in place without exception and will have increased ownership as part of the transaction.

"Investing in strong management teams and profitable business models with significant growth potential is core to our approach," said Patrick Duffy, president of McCarthy Capital, who is not related to United's Dan Duffy. "United Country Real Estate is positioned to capture substantial market share in the lifestyle and rural real estate brokerage space. We are thrilled to support Dan and his team as well as all of the affiliated United Country offices, brokers, agents, and auctioneers on this journey."

"We have been executing a very deliberate, aggressive long-term business plan to best deliver our 90-year mission of exposing local lifestyle and rural properties more broadly," Dan Duffy said. "The leadership team at McCarthy Capital saw an opportunity to accelerate this long-term plan and fit perfectly with the United culture. We will continue to enhance our programs to assist our agents, brokers, and auctioneers in offering differentiated and advantaged services for their clients. We are extremely excited about this new chapter in our 90-year history."

About United Country Real Estate

United Country Real Estate is the leading, fully integrated network of conventional and auction real estate professionals specializing in lifestyle and rural real estate. The company has been an innovator in real estate marketing since 1925 with a unique, comprehensive advertising program. This exclusive program includes the highest ranked and largest portfolios of specialty lifestyle property marketing websites, unequaled national print advertising, the largest internal real estate advertising agency, an extensive buyer database of more than 550,000 opt-in buyers, and additional proprietary programs to advertise properties more broadly. For more information about United Country Real Estate, please visit UnitedCountry.com.

About United Real Estate Holdings

United Real Estate Holdings, operating the United Country Real Estate and United Real Estate brands, is the leading fully integrated network of conventional and auction real estate professionals globally. The two brands combined address the unique markets they serve, rural and urban, with exclusive marketing and technology solutions. United supports nearly 600 offices and 5,000 real estate professionals across four continents with a unique, comprehensive marketing program that includes one of the largest portfolios of real estate websites, the largest internal real estate marketing services company, an extensive buyer database, and international advertising of properties.

About McCarthy Capital Fund V

McCarthy Capital Fund V is managed by McCarthy Partners Management, LLC, an affiliated RIA of McCarthy Capital. McCarthy Capital, headquartered in Omaha, NE, is focused exclusively on lower middle-market companies. For nearly 30 years, the McCarthy organization has been partnering with founders, families, and exceptional management teams to support the growth of their companies. For more information about McCarthy Capital, please visit McCarthyCapital.com.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Land Sales Lead Growth in Lifestyle Real Estate

Land Sales Lead Growth in Lifestyle1 Real Estate Market
United Country Reports 68% Rise in 2015 1st Quarter Recreational Acreage Purchases

May 20, 2015 - (KANSAS CITY, Mo.) - Land sales continue to show strong growth and stability in 2015. United Country is reporting a large increase in land sales volume driven by a 68-percent rise in recreational land and a 17-percent increase in vacant land in the first quarter of this year. Recreational land includes properties purchased primarily for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, 4-wheeling, horseback riding, watersports and nature conservation. Vacant land represents future development opportunities for residential, commercial or other investment uses.

"We have seen strong performance in land sales over the recent years," said Mike Duffy, president of United Country Real Estate. "In 2015, farms, ranches, development and recreational land have continued to show steady sales volume and price increases. Buyers want to put their money into tangible assets that have proven to grow in value, are many times income-producing, and that provide for desired lifestyle activities. Interestingly as the economy improves, more Americans spend discretionary dollars for recreational and conservation land. These numbers reinforce the fact that land is, has been - and always will be - a useful and sound investment."

The lifestyle and rural real estate firm has also seen an increase in the sale of country homes in early 2015. "Sales volume of homes outside of major metropolitan cities increased four percent over the first quarter of 2014," said Jason Cole, chief financial officer for United Country Real Estate. "Additionally, our nearly 600 offices are realizing continued growth across all property types so far his year. As interest rates remain low, consumer confidence rises, the economy improves and more baby boomers retire, pent up demand for real estate has fueled market activity."

"We fundamentally believe the overall economy and market are strong, stable and supportive of continued growth throughout 2015," Duffy said. "With a majority of Americans wanting to eventually own a second home, vacation property, a farm, ranch or destination retirement home, combined with those who already own and operate on properties in the country and in lifestyle markets, we will continue to experience steady demand."

For more information about United Country Real Estate, call 800-999-1020 or visit their website
at UnitedCountry.com.

About United Country Real Estate

United Country Real Estate - a division of the United Real Estate Group - is the leading, fully integrated network of conventional and auction real estate professionals. The company has been an innovator in lifestyle and country real estate marketing since 1925. United Country supports nearly 600 offices and 5,000 real estate professionals across four continents, with a unique, comprehensive marketing program. The exclusive program includes the highest ranked and largest portfolios of specialty property marketing websites, unequaled national print advertising, the largest internal real estate advertising agency, an extensive buyer database of more than 500,000 opt-in buyers and additional proprietary programs to advertise properties more broadly.