Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Federal Money Available to Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

The USDA awarded grants to three New York organizations to provide training and assistance to beginning farmers and ranchers to help run successful and sustainable farms.

“Beginning farmers and ranchers face unique challenges, and these efforts will help provide the training needed to ensure these producers become profitable and sustainable,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. The average age of farmers today is 57 and is trending upward.

USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded grants of $18 million through its Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). The grants are for fiscal years 2011 and 2012. BFRDP 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 fewer.

Entities receiving the awards are:

Groundswell Center for Food and Farming, Ithaca, N.Y., ($349,873)
Just Food, Inc., New York, N.Y., ($426,921)
Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, Inc., Rochester, N.Y., ($143,973)

Contact these organizations for more information and opportunities to participate.