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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Honoring Barb David, a Farm to School Champion

On Valentine’s Day this year, Nebraska faced the loss of Farm to School champion and innovative agricultural entrepreneur, Barb David of Oak Ridge Farms Hydroponics. She passed away at home in Ord.

Barb has been a leader with farm to school in the state, actively serving on our Farm to School Advisory Committee. She stood by our side to talk about the challenges and successes of supplying her year-round hydroponic bibb lettuce to Nebraska schools and institutions.

Small Rural School Builds Positive Leaders Using Farm to School

Here in Lyons, the Center’s hometown, a mentorship program at the local school is turning students into positive leaders. New principal Derek Lahm calls it “Empower Your Genius.”

Twice a month, the entire school, grades K-12 - approximately 250 students, is dismissed from class at 2 pm. Elementary, junior-high, and high school students pair up for the mentorship activity.

Study Debunks Meat Labeling Myths

Americans overwhelmingly support Country-of-Origin-Labeling (COOL). America’s COOL law requires that retailers inform consumers about the country where beef, pork, lamb and certain other agricultural products were produced.
 
In 2009 Canada and Mexico challenged COOL provisions related to muscle cuts of beef and pork as an alleged barrier to trade. They argued that the cost of implementing COOL discouraged U.S. meatpackers from purchasing livestock of non-U.S. origin and as a result, reduced the prices of those livestock imports.