Farmers.gov highlights producers, latest information

Last month, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue unveiled Farmers.gov, the new interactive one-stop website for producers maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Farmers.gov is now live and will have multiple features added over the coming months to allow agricultural producers to make appointments with USDA offices, file forms, and apply for USDA programs. The website gathers together the three agencies that comprise USDA’s Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) mission area: the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Risk Management Agency.

This month, the website launched its blog, which features stories from all three agencies including articles on crop insurance. Monday they kicked-off a special blog feature called Fridays on the Farm (#FOTF):

NIFA Announces the Availability of $17.7 Million to Train, Educate the Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of $17.7 million in grant funding 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.” 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

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Secretary Vilsack Awards $17.8 Million to Cultivate the Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers, Sets Stage for Continued New Farmer and Rancher Support

In a meeting with new and beginning farmers at Iowa State University today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new investment of $17.8 million for 37 projects to help educate, mentor, and enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers. The investment is made through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). Since 2009, USDA has invested more than $126 million into projects targeting new and beginning farmers and ranchers through BFRDP. Continue reading