Growing Opportunity: A Guide to USDA Sustainable Farming Programs

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) has published a brand new, fully updated Growing Opportunity: A Guide to USDA Sustainable Farming Programs. This free, comprehensive, practical guide is for farmers and ranchers who want to better understand which key federal programs offered by USDA can help them meet their needs and support their diversified, sustainable farming operations. The guide distills technical programs in a way that is accessible, serving as a valuable resource for farmers as they look for opportunities and financing to grow their farms and businesses and help build a more sustainable farming system.

USDA is partnering with farmer-serving organizations like NSAC and its members to better reach and serve an increasingly diverse farmer and rancher constituency for USDA programs. NSAC originally partnered with USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) in 2017 to produce the first edition of this guide to USDA programs for farmers and ranchers. This new edition has been updated to reflect program changes made since the 2018 Farm Bill.

The new guide is a resource for current farmers or would-be farmers seeking to:

  • access capital, land, infrastructure, or technical assistance to begin or expand an operation;
  • pursue new markets and sell fresh or value-added products directly to consumers, wholesalers, restaurants, schools, and food hubs; and/or
  • consider diversification options, comprehensive conservation systems, and organic farming practices.

This guide is for anyone who is farming – or thinking about getting into farming – whether you’re a beginner or just looking to try something new.

Read and download the guide here.

Growing Opportunity Now Available in Spanish!

NSAC has published a Spanish language version of the fully updated guide. The Spanish version, Cultivando Oportunidades, is available for free download on our publications page.