New funds aimed at education for beginning farmers, ranchers

Applications are due December 8 for 2017 grants to help train the next generation of agricultural producers. The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture announced availability of $17.7 million.

NIFA’s 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.

NIFA will host a free informational webinar for interested applicants on Oct. 26 from 12-2 p.m. CST.

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 percent 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
  • Resources and referral
  • 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
  • Other similar subject areas of use to beginning farmers or ranchers 

Since BFRDP’s 2009 inception, the agency has invested more than $126 million through 256 projects across the country. Click here for the full news release.

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