Photo courtesy USDA
If you've been farming for 10 years or less, the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program could have a grant for you.
Funding through government programs may not be available for individual applicants.
The first thing any potential applicant will want to do is obtain additional information about eligibility and how to apply.
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The program is an education, training, technical assistance and outreach program designed to help U.S. farmers and ranchers -specifically those who have been farming or ranching for 10 years or less, according to the USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service. In 2009, $17 million is available; another $19 million, approved by congress in the Farm Bill, will be available in 2010.
This year's applications are due May 13. Funding is available to state, local, tribal, regional, nonprofit and community-based organizations, academic institutions, and networks of appropriate private and public organizations, according to the USDA.
USDA says it's looking for proposals from these areas:
- Mentoring, apprenticeships, and internships;
- Resources and referrals;
- Assisting beginning farmers or ranchers in acquiring land from retiring farmers and ranchers;
- Innovative farm and ranch transfer strategies;
- Entrepreneurship and business training;
- Model land leasing contracts;
- Financial management training;
- Whole farm planning;
- Conservation assistance;
- Risk management education;
- Diversification and marketing strategies;
- Curriculum development;
- Understanding the impact of concentration and globalization;
- Basic livestock and crop farming practices;
- The acquisition and management of agricultural credit;
- Environmental compliance;
- Information processing; and
- Other similar areas that would be useful to beginners.
The projects will be limited to three years. Budget requests in the proposals must not exceed $250,000 per year.
Note on Eligibility
According to the USDA:
"The recipient must be a collaborative, State, tribal, local, or regionally-based network or partnership of public or private entities, which may include: state cooperative extension service; community-based and nongovernmental organization; college or university (including institutions awarding associate degrees); or any other appropriate partner. Others may be eligible to apply. Please refer to Part III of the current BFRDP Request for Applications for complete eligibility requirements."
Visit this page for all the details: http://www.csrees.usda.gov/fo/beginningfarmerandrancher.cfm