Beginning Farmer & Rancher News

10 helpful resources for farmers

Sometimes farmers need a helping hand. Maybe you’d like financial counseling, or support during land transition, but aren’t sure where to go? Are you concerned about your farming operation or need mediation services?

Whether you are a beginning farmer or have been farming for 30 years, it is important to know what resources are available to assist you in your farming venture. There are many resources available, but it can be cumbersome to sort through them all.

Successful USDA program aids beginning farmers

The 2008 farm bill introduced U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) first – and so far only – program focused on the next generation of farmers: the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. The Center for Rural Affairs was a leader in designing, writing, and winning the program. A new report documents the success of the program in offering training opportunities to new farmers and ranchers.

The report, “Cultivating the Next Generation,” was released by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition in October 2017 as the first evaluation of the program’s impacts.

Beginning farmers stand to benefit from proposed act

The average age of today’s farmer is 58 years old. Over the course of the next five years (the duration of the next farm bill), nearly 100 million acres of farmland are predicted to change hands.

Some retiring farmers and ranchers will pass their land and operations to their children or other relatives, however, many are heading toward retirement without a succession plan in place.

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