Beginning Farmer and Rancher Advisory Committee

Traci Bruckner of the Center for Rural Affairs is the new chair of the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Advisory Committee. The committee advises the Secretary of Agriculture on assisting beginning farmers and ranchers in securing financing, increasing the number of beginning farmers and ranchers, and creating farming and ranching opportunities.

Secretary Tom Vilsack presented the advisory panel an even greater challenge, and opportunity, when he set an agency goal to help 100,000 new farmers and ranchers get started. The fastest growing age-group of farmers and ranchers are those over 70, the fastest declining age-group are those under 25, making Vilsack's challenge all the more crucial.

The 11 new members of the Committee are:

  • Luciano Alvarado of Fayetteville, N.C.
  • Bryan Barrett of Gering, Neb.
  • Francis Benton-Gibson of Manning, S.C.
  • Deborah Cavenaugh-Grant of Greenview, Ill.
  • Duncan Chembezi of Madison, Ala.
  • Dalton Henry of Manhattan, Kan.
  • Barbara Norman of Covert, Mich.
  • Rebecca Padilla of Clovis, N.M.
  • Anusuya Rangarajan of Freeville, N.Y.
  • Peter Scheffert of Northfield, Minn.
  • Maykla Yang of Carthage, N.C.

The 9 incumbent members of the Committee are:

  • Traci Bruckner of Wayne, NE (Chair)
  • Ray Ellenberger of Madison, Wis.
  • Lisa Koester of Wadesville, Ind.
  • Karen Kritz of Pemberton, N.J.
  • Ryan Luter of Morison, Okla.
  • Maria Moreira of Lancaster, Mass.
  • Mary Peabody of Burlington, Vt.
  • Amarjit Sohal of Yuba City, Calif.
  • Jeffrey Ward of Windsor Height, Iowa

The new charter for the Committee was issued on November 25, 1998, and is renewed every two years. By law, the Committee is allowed to consist of no more than 20 members and no fewer than 14. Members serve a two-year term, and can be reappointed for up to six consecutive years.

For more information, contact Traci Bruckner, tracib@cfra.org or call 402.687.2100.