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

 

Farm bill priorities: conservation

Conservation programs guide farmers and ranchers in improving land soil and water quality.

Maintain the strength of our working lands conservation programs, Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

Preserve funding and continue technical assistance support. With these programs, farmers and ranchers can steward their soil and water resources for the next generation without breaking the bank.

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Rural Food Business Toolkit

Rural food businesses are growing. This toolkit from the Center for Rural Affairs provides resources to help rural food businesses succeed. 

The sections of this toolkit address steps throughout the supply chain that get products into consumers’ hands. The resources are primarily intended for value-added food processing business owners, and are also useful for commercial kitchen operators, farmers, distributors and anyone with an interest in great food and local businesses.

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Farm bill conversations: crop insurance

The Center for Rural Affairs farm bill team has been working hard to make sure you have up-to-date and important farm bill information. Over the past few weeks we have sent out information regarding our farm bill priorities. This week, we’re talking about crop insurance reform and how you can get involved by contacting your representatives.

Here are two things we’d like to see change with crop insurance through the 2018 farm bill:

Apply for value-added producer grants by January 2018, read about success stories

“Creating and marketing value-added products has the potential to significantly enhance our farm's profitability, but this is no easy task. Our value-added funds will help pay for processing, marketing, distribution, and sales of our pasture-raised chickens and eggs, as well as microgreens that we grow,” said Alex McKiernan, co-owner of Robinette Farms near Lincoln, Nebraska. The farm received a working capital grant in 2015.

Farm bill conversations: conservation

The Center for Rural Affairs wants to work with you to advocate for conservation in the upcoming 2018 farm bill!

Over the next few months we will share our farm bill priorities with you – beginning with conservation.

We need to protect funding and strengthen working lands conservation programs such as the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).