Since the Center for Rural Affairs began, we have been engaged in the debate over who will steward the land a generation hence.
In the last two farm bills, we helped pass new policy to support beginners. Wins included training programs, set-asides within farm conservation and financing programs, and increased support for new market development. These are good building blocks for a beginning farmer policy agenda.
Despite these gains, the share of beginning farmers continues to decline. Data shows beginners are more likely to farm smaller acreages and have smaller farm incomes – sometimes much smaller.