Local Lamb Lessons

Utilizing Public Sector Programs


Course: January 18, 2018


USDA Programs (Presenter, Matthew Forrest):

The Livestock Indemnity Program

The Conservation Reserve Program & CRP Grasslands

Farm Storage Facility Loans


Farm Service Agency Loans (Presenter, Chris Wills)


Operating Loans

Farm Ownership Loans

Guaranteed Loans

Eligibility for FSA’s loan programs

Presenter: Matthew Forrest

County Executive Director, Columbia/Greene Farm Service Agency

Matthew Forrest is the County Executive Director (CED) for the Columbia/Greene Farm Service Agency located in Ghent, NY. He has been the CED in Columbia and Greene County since 2015.  He previously worked for FSA as a County Operations Trainee & a County Program Technician in Monroe County, NY. Prior to working for the USDA, he attended Green Mountain College in Vermont, where he studied Sustainable Agriculture, Animal Science & Farm Business. Matthew is excited to help farmer’s access government resources that can make their farms more resilient and successful.

Presenter: Chris Wills

Farm Loan Officer, Farm Service Agency

Chris Wills lives in Saratoga County, but was born and raised in Kinderhook, NY.  Growing up he worked on local dairy farms, participated in the local 4-H program, and was fairly involved in the Columbia County ag community.  Chris attended SUNY Cobleskill where he received a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business Management. He has worked as a dairy nutritionist, and also has extensive experience in the farm equipment industry, where he has held roles in all major aspects of the business: sales, service, and parts distribution. 

Chris joined FSA as a Farm Loan Officer for the Greenwich, NY office about 2 ½ years. This particular office covers 14 counties in central, eastern and northern New York, however, Chris personally covers Columbia, Rensselaer, and Washington Counties.

Course Materials



USDA Disaster Assistance Fact Sheet       USDA Price Support Fact Sheet - 11/17

USDA Farm Loans Fact Sheet - 4/17         USDA CRP Grassland Fact Sheet - 12/16

USDA CREP NY Watersheds Fact Sheet - 9/16

Presentation Video



Funding for HVADC’s Local Lamb Lessons made possible with a 

grant from the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center