Applications accepted through Dec. 8 for programs that train beginning farmers

Applications accepted through Dec. 8 for programs that train beginning farmers

Priority areas include innovative transfer strategies and basic livestock and crop farming practices. Projects that serve military veterans especially encouraged to apply.

$17.7 million is available to help train and educate the next generation of agricultural producers through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP).

“USDA is committed to supporting the next generation of farmers and ranchers, and we know that they have unique educational, training, technical assistance and outreach needs,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director. “The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program funds projects that provide valuable tools and resources to help these producers succeed in building profitable and sustainable businesses in communities across the country.”

NIFA has $17.7 million available in grant funds to help beginning farmers. (Photo: FreezeFrameStudio/Thinkstock)

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program helps fund organizations implementing programs throughout the United States that train beginning farmers and ranchers, through workshops, educational teams, training and technical assistance. Eligible applicants include collaborative state, tribal, local or regionally-based networks or partnerships of public or private entities such as state cooperative extension services, community-based organizations, colleges or universities; and other organizations providing services to beginning farmers and ranchers.

2017 applications are due Dec. 8, 2016. See the request for applications for more details.

NIFA will host a free informational webinar for interested applicants on Oct. 26 from 1-3 p.m. EST.

Projects are encouraged that serve military veterans who are beginning farmers and ranchers, and to projects that serve a socially disadvantaged, limited-resource, or farmworkers audience. At least 25% of the total project cost must come through non-federal funding or in-kind support.

Priority subject matter includes:

- Basic livestock, forest management, and crop farming practices

- Innovative farm, ranch, and private, nonindustrial forest land transfer strategies

- Entrepreneurship and business training

- Financial and risk management training (including the acquisition and management of agricultural credit)

- Natural resource management and planning

- Diversification and marketing strategies

- Curriculum development

- Mentoring, apprenticeships and internships

- Farm financial benchmarking

- Assisting beginning farmers or ranchers in acquiring land from retiring farmers and ranchers

- Agricultural rehabilitation and vocational training for veterans

- Farm safety and awareness


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