Beginning and Minority Farmers


Demand for Beginning Farmer Support Programs Greatly Exceeds Available Funding

July 8, 2016

Today, the average age of an American farmer is 58.3 years, an increase of 8.3 years since 1980. The steady rise in average farmer age over the past three decades underscores the need to bring new farmers into the U.S. agricultural sector. To help attract the next generation of American farmers, Congress created the Beginning […]

Farm Service Agency County Committee Members Help Shape Farmer Assistance Programs

July 5, 2016

The halls of Congress and offices of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are commonly where the decisions about agricultural policies and programs are made, but they are not the only places. For farmers, ranchers, and the scores of rural community members for whom a trip to Washington D.C. is not feasible, opportunities to get […]

Funding Available to Support Outreach to Underserved Farmers

June 27, 2016

For decades, the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (also known as the “2501 Program”) has served as the only farm bill program dedicated to addressing the needs of family farmers and ranchers of color. Over the past 20 years, the 2501 program has invested millions of dollars into […]

How Well Is the Farm Credit System Serving Young, Beginning, and Small Farmers?

June 17, 2016

One hundred years after Congress first created the Farm Credit System (FCS), a national network of financial institutions owned by farmers and their cooperatives and focused on providing credit to farmers, FCS remains an important source of capital for young, beginning, and small farmers across the country. Last week, the Farm Credit Administration (the regulatory […]

A Breakdown of the Senate’s Annual Food and Farm Spending Bill

May 20, 2016

Each year, Congress debates and makes key decisions about federal funding priorities for all government agencies, programs, and initiatives – including programs and resources that support our nation’s farmers and ranchers. This week marks an important step in that process (known as appropriations), as the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill to fund the U.S. […]

New FSA Cooperative Agreements Expand Farmer Outreach Efforts

May 6, 2016

Even the best designed U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs can fail to find success if farmers don’t have the knowledge or tools to access them. In order to increase program awareness and participation among underserved farmer communities, last year the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced a new cooperative agreement that would develop innovative […]

SARE STORIES FROM THE FIELD: Nutrient Management Helps California Farmers Remain Competitive

May 5, 2016

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of blog posts highlighting Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) projects. Our last SARE: Stories from the field blog featured a Virginia project that used SARE funds for innovative public seed breeding. For over 25 years, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program has enabled farmers, […]

Stories from the Field: Strengthening Kentucky’s Small Farms

May 4, 2016

Experience is an invaluable resource when it comes to agriculture. Fortunately for Kentucky farmers, Marion Simon and Louie Rivers of the Kentucky State University (KSU) Cooperative Extension’s “Small Farm Program” have a combined total of nearly 50 years of experience in extending outreach to small and limited resource farm operations. Much of the great work […]

Farm Storage Loans Expanded to Help Farmers Reach Local Food Markets

April 29, 2016

Small and mid-scale family farms operating in burgeoning local and regional food markets received some welcome news from the USDA today

Stories from the Field: Empowering Latino Farmers

April 18, 2016

Despite a demonstrated track record of success in supporting innovative outreach, training, and technical assistance programs, the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Program (also known as “Section 2501”) remains severely underfunded. The 2014 Farm Bill cut funding for the program in half, while at the same time expanding the program’s user […]

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