The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Advisory Committee

On December 15th, the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Advisory Committee selected Traci Bruckner of the Center for Rural Affairs as their chair. Bruckner was recently reappointed to serve another two-year term on the USDA advisory board.
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.

However, not enough people know about this advisory committee, nor about opportunities available to the next generation of farmers and ranchers.  That's why the Center for Rural Affairs created the Farm Bill Helpline, to assist beginning and established farmers and ranchers in a variety of USDA programs.  By calling (402) 687-2100 and asking for the Farm Bill Helpline, you can speak to a someone who is knowledgeable about program rules and can help you understand how to participate in these programs.

In fact, more often than not, the person a caller will talk to is Traci Bruckner.  Call the helpline, get the information and insight, and start getting to know your Beginning Farmer and Rancher Advisory Committee (learn more and locate your nearest committee member at