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

 

Impacts of the Conservation Stewardship Program in Nebraska

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) has helped Nebraska farmers and ranchers achieve conservation goals on their operations for nearly two decades.

Administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), CSP provides financial and technical assistance for producers to maintain agricultural production on their land, and simultaneously address resource concerns with conservation practices.

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Impacts of the Conservation Stewardship Program in Iowa

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) has helped Iowa farmers achieve conservation goals on their operations for nearly two decades. Administered by the Natural Resources Conservation  Service (NRCS), CSP provides financial and technical assistance for producers to maintain agricultural production on their land, and simultaneously address resource concerns with conservation practices.

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Managing stress on the farm or ranch

Farmers and ranchers are incredibly resilient. In many instances, they are used to addressing problems on their own, but there are some challenges we all can use a helping hand to get through.

As 2020 has shown us, some of the most stressful situations are those outside of our control. This year has been unprecedented in so many ways, including the many compounding stressors on producers. But, even before 2020, farm stress rates have been rising for a number of years. 

Midwest farmers top list of food assistance program recipients

When the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the U.S., farmers and ranchers faced financial challenges because of market prices. However, farmers are resilient, and Ron Spicka is no exception.

A lifelong farmer, Ron’s agricultural roots go back generations. His 400-acre farm in Saunders County, Nebraska, is a conventional corn and soybeans operation.

In May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture began offering the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to farmers and ranchers.

Questions to ask crop insurance agents during derecho cleanup

The derecho that stormed through central and eastern Iowa on Monday, Aug. 10, left many farmers reeling. Damage spans crop destruction, equipment and building damage, and prolonged power outages.

Most farmers who saw their corn and soybean fields snapped, flattened, defoliated, or otherwise harmed are looking at their options under federal crop insurance. The below advice is for farmers to consider.