Farm and Food

Resources, ideas and strategies for new and diversifying farmers and those interested in the comeback of the family farm

Whether your family has been farming or ranching for generations or you're just beginning a farm career, the Center for Rural Affairs has resources to help you grow a successful farm business.

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunities

New farmers and ranchers have unique needs. The Center for Rural Affairs offers resources and support to help beginning farmers and ranchers start successful farm careers.
Land Matching - Farm transfers between retiring farmers and a new generation of beginners are a great way to preserve family farms and help beginners break into farming and ranching.

Veteran Farmers Project

In the last 10 years, almost a million of our military’s servicemen and servicewomen have come from rural communities. As these veterans return home, they bring with them an opportunity to employ their passion, discipline, and sense of service to revitalize America’s small farms and rural communities. Learn more about our training and support programs for veteran farmers.

Women Farmers

The Center for Rural Affairs is partnering with Women, Food, and Agriculture Network (WFAN) to help aspiring and beginning women farmers turn their farming dreams into reality through training and mentorships with established women farmers. Learn more about upcoming opportunities for women farmers.

Farm Finances

Farms are businesses, and as with any business, sound financial planning is crucial to success. Considering your farm finances is especially important for beginners getting started and for landowners considering farm transfers.

High Value Markets

One key to having a viable small-scale farm is producing a high-value product. Customers will pay more for non-generic, non-commodity products that make are unique to your farm. These products return a higher profit to your farm business. 

Additional Farming Programs and Resources

Learn about additional resources available to help your farm grow and thrive.

Farm and Food Notes


Local and Regional Food Systems in Nebraska: Best Practices and Case Studies

Outlines best practices for developing local and regional food systems in the state. First-hand information came from interviews we conducted with individuals, organizations, and institutions involved in the production, marketing, and usage of local food. They are docmented through nine case studies.

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Regional Food Systems in Nebraska: Report on Consumer, Producer, and Institutional Focus Groups

In February 2013, the Center for Rural Affairs (CFRA) released a report Regional Food Systems in Nebraska: The Views of Consumers, Producers and Institutions, analyzing the results of a survey responded to by Nebraskans on local food system issues.

After the survey was completed, CFRA held a series of focus groups for each of the project relevant groups – consumers, producers, food-serving institutions and grocery stores. This supplemental report provides findings and observations from those focus groups.

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Retracing the Steps

Stephanie Bertagnoli once said she would never move back to Nebraska. After growing up on a conventional farm in Utica she left for Colorado Christian University near Denver, where she met her husband Tim, a “city boy.” She thought that’s where they would stay, until one day when she was driving home to Nebraska during calving season.

Farming Fits Veterans and Veterans Fit Farming

The Center for Rural Affairs has focused on beginning farmers since 1990, when we analyzed the changing age of farmers. In 2009 we noticed an increasing number of inquiries from military veterans about how to start farming, while asking what special help they could get.

The military veterans who sought our advice had the same needs as other new farmers: access to land, financing and information. But they also brought new issues: disabilities, returning to civilian life, a drive to help fellow veterans, a powerful sense of wanting to be of service to their country.