NIFA Supports Increasing Rural Prosperity through Education, Mentoring, and Technical Assistance Programs for the Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced awards made to support the next generation of farmers and ranchers through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). The BFRDP program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, aims to help address issues associated with the rising age and decrease in the number of U.S. farmers and ranchers.

“According to the 2012 Agriculture Census undertaken by the National Agricultural Statistics Survey, the average age of the American farmer is approximately 59 years old,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program provides the training and resources to attract a wide range of communities – veterans, refugees, socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, women, individuals from underrepresented groups, small farmers, aspiring farm workers, and others – into farming and ranching.”  Continue reading

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program RFA is available

Beginning farmer education for adult and young audiences in the United States can be generally traced back to the advent of the 1862 and the 1890 Morrill Land Grant Acts. But for the first time, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub .L. No. 110-234, Section 7410), appropriated $75 million for FY 2009 to FY 2012 to develop and offer education, training, outreach and mentoring programs to enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers. The Agriculture Act of 2014 provided an additional $20 million per year for 2014 through 2018. The reasons for the renewed interest in beginning farmer and rancher programs are: the rising average age of U.S. farmers, the 8% projected decrease in the number of farmers and ranchers between 2008 and 2018, and the growing recognition that new programs are needed to address the needs of the next generation of beginning farmers and ranchers.

Deadline: Thursday, December 8, 2016

Continue reading

Sustainable Agriculture Conference

31st Annual Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

Sustainable Agriculture Conference

Nov. 4-6, 2016 in Durham, NC

Scholarship applications now open! Continue reading

Senate Agricultural Committee includes authorization for IPM Centers, Specialty Crops research in Farm Bill draft

The preliminary draft of the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013 (2013 Farm Bill) from the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee includes specific authorization for the Regional IPM Centers as well as mandatory funding for five programs from the 2008 Farm Bill.

This first draft is Chairwoman Deborah Stabenow’s markup and can be found at this link. The bill goes to the full Senate Agricultural Committee for markup on May 14. That draft will then be voted on by the full Senate.

Continue reading