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

 

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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Everyone Deserves an Awesome Burger

Kerry Hoffschneider of rural Waco, Nebraska, has a vision. She wants to increase access to fresh, healthy food; care for the land; and help her community. Kerry is working with friend and business partner Del Ficke to develop a farm business.

I met Kerry at the Center for Rural Affairs’ and University of Nebraska Lincoln’s Recipe to Reality Seminar in January. I can’t get her ideas off my mind. She and nine other women farmers and entrepreneurs met for a full-day seminar hosted by UNL’s Food Processing Center.

Fresh, Local Ingredients Part of After-School Program

An innovative approach has taken place with Farm to (After) School in Fremont, Nebraska. Fremont’s k-4th graders, 250 of them, are tasting and working with fresh, real, local ingredients after their school day has ended. Leah Hladik, program director for this special effort, makes it a priority to promote enriching, hands-on experiences with the students, and Farm to School activities are a natural fit. 

Farm Transitions: Maintaining Ownership and Providing Retirement Income

A common quandary for heirs of senior landowners is how they can maintain ownership and operation of the farm while providing retirement income for their parents. Often the farm assets represent all of the retirement savings. Not only may there be an extended period of retirement without earned income, but eventual nursing home expenses may be great enough to consume the value of the estate.

This can be a complicated situation to plan, with taxes, Medicaid rules, and differing goals of each family member. But it does take planning to make the best outcomes possible.