USDA Continues Investments to Support Beginning Farmers

Brian German Agri-Business, Funding, USDA-NRCS

Beginning Farmers

Nearly $24 million is being invested as part of federal efforts to support beginning farmers and ranchers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is funding 45 projects that will provide education and training. The investment is part of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BRDDP), which supports three types of projects.

“Investing in the professional development of our nation’s newest farmers and ranchers will help our food and agriculture sectors to flourish from the ground up,” USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics Chavonda Jacobs-Young said in a press release. “Strengthening and growing our next generation pipeline is vital to the continued success of American agriculture and prosperity of rural communities.”

The BRDDP supports a wide variety of professional development opportunities. Activities cover a range of important topics for beginning farmers and ranchers, including capital management, land acquisition, and effective business practices. Standard Project types address unique regional needs through training, outreach, and technical assistance. Educational Team projects complement Standard Projects through evaluation, coordination, and enhancement activities. Finally, Curriculum and Training Clearinghouse projects make educational materials available to organizations serving beginning farmers and ranchers.

NIFA Acting Director Dr. Dionne Toombs noted that the success of new farmers and ranchers is often dependent on the first 10 years in the industry. Providing access to resources drastically improves the likelihood for an operation to have long-term profitability and sustainability. “This investment will benefit a rising generation of beginning farmers and ranchers that truly reflect the tapestry of American agriculture and the many diverse communities we serve,” said Toombs.

Several California-based projects are being supported through the program. Funding is being provided to the Center for Land-Based Learning, California State University San Marcos, Sustainable Systems Research Foundation, and the University of California Davis. NIFA has invested $2.2 billion in Fiscal Year 2022 to support agricultural research, education, and Extension.

About the Author

Brian German

Facebook Twitter

Ag News Director, AgNet West