USDA announces nearly $30 million in new farmer funding

USDA announced a $27.9 million investment in 45 organizations that support and train new farmers and ranchers.  

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., announced a $27.9 million investment in 45 organizations that support and train new farmers and ranchers.  

The initiative is part of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. The program aims to equip new agriculturalists with essential skills for profitability and sustainability, addressing challenges like managing capital and land.  

“The next generation of farmers and ranchers hold the promise for future American agriculture and rural prosperity,” says USDA Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small. “Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is providing our newest producers with the support they need to succeed and the educational resources to guide their operations on the path toward long-term sustainability and profitability.” 

This effort underlines USDA’s commitment to fostering a new generation of farmers and ranchers, vital for ongoing agricultural production in the U.S. considering, according to USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Ag Census data, one-third of the United States’ 3.4 million farmers are over the age of 65. 

“Ensuring there will be a new generation of beginning farmers and ranchers — regardless of age or production choice — is essential to the continuation of agricultural production in the United States,” says USDA NIFA Director Manjit Misra, PhD. “Beginning farmers and ranchers have unique educational, training, technical assistance and outreach needs. Access to capital, land and knowledge that assists in ensuring profitability and sustainability are vital to farmers and ranchers in their first 10 years of operation.” 

NIFA’s BFRDP funds three types of projects: 

  • Standard projects to new and established local and regional training, education outreach and technical assistance initiatives that address the unique local and regional needs of beginning farmers and ranchers. 
  • Educational team projects to develop seamless beginning farmer and rancher education programs by conducting evaluation, coordination and enhancement activities for standard projects and other non-funded beginning farmer programs. 
  • Curriculum and training clearinghouse to make educational curricula and training materials available to beginning farmers and ranchers and organizations who directly serve them. 

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