June 23, 2014
On Monday, June 23, U.S.Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden announced the implementation of several 2014 Farm Bill measures as well as other policy initiatives to help support new and beginning farmers and ranchers.
Harden made the announcement at the inaugural meeting of the reconvened Beginning Farmer and Rancher Advisory Committee in Davis, California. The advisory committee started in 1998 and met annually, but has not been functioning since 2010 and is now being restarted.
She also unveiled USDA’s New Farmers website, which provides a centralized one-stop resource where beginning farmers and ranchers can explore the variety of USDA initiatives that are designed to help their operations thrive.
The website includes information on how to increase access to land and capital, create new market opportunities, participate in conservation opportunities, utilize risk management tools, and access USDA technical assistance programs. The new site also features case studies that illustrate how beginning farmers have successfully used USDA resources to start or expand their business operations.
In speaking of the critical need for more beginning farmers throughout the country, Deputy Secretary Harden explained, “The average age of an American farmer is 58 and rising, so we must help new farmers get started if America is going to continue feeding the world and maintain and strong agricultural economy. The new policies announced today will give beginning farmers the financial security they need to succeed”
Harden announced the implementation of several policy initiatives in the 2014 Farm Bill that help create opportunities for the next generation of farmers. These policy announcements include:
USDA will continue to announce additional farm bill crop insurance improvements for beginning farmers and ranchers, including discounted premiums, the waiver of administrative fees, and other benefits.
A fact sheet outlining USDA efforts to support beginning farmers and ranchers is available here. More resources are available through the New Farmers website and others will be announced in the near future.
Categories: Beginning and Minority Farmers