USDA boosts new farmers with $28M in educational support

USAgNet - 11/21/2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making a significant move to nurture the next generation of American farmers. Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small announced a substantial investment of $27.9 million to support 45 organizations dedicated to training new farmers and ranchers. This initiative is a part of the administration's commitment to agricultural education and rural prosperity.

This funding is dispensed through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). The program's goal is to equip new farmers with crucial knowledge and skills in capital management, land acquisition, and effective farming practices. It acknowledges the aging demographic of U.S. farmers and seeks to lower the entry barriers for newcomers, including military veterans transitioning to agricultural careers.

Among the funded projects are Calypso Farm and Ecology Center's program for Indigenous farmers in Alaska, Farm Boot Camp's training for veteran farmers, and In Her Shoes, Inc.'s initiative supporting women and Black farmers in Georgia and Mississippi. Each project addresses unique regional needs, promoting climate-smart agriculture and food sovereignty.

This investment is a strategic step towards ensuring a sustainable and profitable future for American agriculture. It aims not only to educate but also to remove systemic barriers, thereby fostering a diverse and resilient agricultural community.

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