Scott Marlow

26 posts

Scott currently serves as Senior Policy Specialist for RAFI. Scott’s specialty is financial infrastructure, including access to credit and risk management for value-added producers. He previously directed the organization’s Farm Sustainability program, providing in-depth financial counseling to farmers in crisis, education on disaster assistance programs and access to credit, and addressing the needs of mid-scale farmers who are increasing the sustainability of their farms by transitioning to higher-value specialty markets.

USDA Reduces Emergency Loan Rate for 2012 Drought from 3.75% to 2.25%

On July 11, 2012, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced that the USDA was reducing the interest rate on Emergency Loans through the USDA Farm Service Agency from 3.75% to 2.25%.

Farmers in disaster-designated counties are eligible to borrow emergency loans for up to the value of their disaster losses. While emergency loans are one of the primary modes of disaster assistance, farmers must still show eligibility and repayment ability in order to qualify.

Crop Insurance, Farmer Income, and the Drought

On July 31, the Wall Street Journal online ran an article entitled “Crops Hurt, But Farmers Will Still Get Paid.” The article begins “A historic drought across the middle of the U.S. is shriveling crops—but not many farmers’ incomes.” Citing USDA statistics that 70% of crops are covered by crop insurance, this article is part of a growing voice that crop insurance means there is no financial emergency behind this historic drought. Numbers like these look good from behind a desk, but not from behind the wheel of a tractor. Here’s why.

Protecting Public Seeds and Breeds in the Senate Ag Committee Farm Bill

Today and tomorrow can determine whether taxpayer dollars support the development of seeds and breeds that belong to the public or to a few large corporations. The Senate Agriculture Committee’s draft of the Farm Bill leaves out specific language that would guarantee at least modest funding for classical breeding and public varieties through the USDA’s AFRI […]

Remembering Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans

I am saddened this week by the loss of Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans. You only have to turn on the radio or open the paper this week in North Carolina to hear a flood of remembrances of her remarkable life. The Durham Herald Sun listed some of her contributions to the state: She was […]

A Visit to Harold Wright’s Farm

Last week, I traveled to Bladen county to document farmer Harold Wright’s grant project– a pastured poultry production expansion. I was amazed at how sandy the soil is, so close to the coast in southern North Carolina, compared to the red clay soil where I’m living. Harold and his family run Happy Land Farm.

The Farmers’ Hands

When I began documenting the Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund projects of innovative farmers for RAFI-USA this fall, I knew I wanted to take portraits of the farmers’ hands. Hands – just as faces, I think – tell stories.

Tornado Recovery: Resources for Farms

Assistance is available for farmers who had crops, livestock or buildings lost to the tornadoes throughout North Carolina and the Southeast on April 16, 2011.

Don’t Bank on It: Farmers Face Significant Barriers to Credit Access During Economic Downturn

Farm credit is the backbone of American agriculture. During the recent economic downturn, America’s family farmers faced significant barriers to accessing farm credit, which endangered their economic security and the stability of rural communities and food production in America. This national survey of farm credit counselors and farm advocacy organizations demonstrates the critical, growing and […]