“Giving a Beginner a Chance in the 2007 Farm Bill” Report Recently Released by the Center for Rural Affairs

Release Date: 

06/27/2007

Contact(s): 

Traci Bruckner, tracib@cfra.org, Center for Rural Affairs or John Crabtree, johnc@cfra.org, Center for Rural Affairs
LYONS, NE – The Center for Rural Affairs recently released a report titled “Giving a Beginner a Chance in the 2007 Farm Bill”. The report examines a series of 2007 Farm Bill recommendations designed to address the challenges facing beginning farmers and ranchers. Examples are offered on how farmers and ranchers have responded to challenges present in 21st century agriculture and provide summaries discussing relevant issues taken from research previously published by others. The report demonstrates how these public policy recommendations would, if included in the 2007 Farm Bill, encourage a new generation of agriculturalists and ensure the future vitality of rural communities.
In a recent survey coordinated by the Community Vitality Center at Iowa State University, Iowa farmers ranked “enhancing opportunities for small and beginning farmers” as a top goal for the next farm bill.  “The CVC survey confirms what we know to be true and what we have found in our interactions with Iowa farmers, that creating opportunities for the next generation of farmers and ranchers in the 2007 farm bill is crucial,” commented Traci Bruckner, Assistant Director for Rural Policy at the Center for Rural Affairs and member of the USDA Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers as well as co-author of the report.

The national effort was conducted in 27 states by Farm Foundation and the National Public Policy Education Committee. The Iowa results were released Friday, June 15.

“Twenty five years ago there were over 350,000 American farmers under the age of 35, now there are fewer than 70,000. The revitalization of rural America depends, in a large part, on reversing that trend. An investment in beginning farmers and ranchers is an investment, by all Americans, in the future of rural America. And it is money well spent,” said Bruckner.

The Center for Rural Affairs’ report “Giving a Beginner a Chance in the 2007 Farm Bill” stresses the importance of encouraging a new generation of farmers and ranchers and addressing the challenges faced by mid-size farms and ranches. The report deals with land price issues, saving accounts, mentoring programs, conservation programs, stewardship, value-added producer grants, risk management, and payment limits.

To view the Center for Rural Affairs’ report “Giving a Beginner a Chance in the 2007 Farm Bill” visit: http://www.cfra.org/policy/2007/beginningfarmer

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