Dirt Works Incubator Farm: Building Land Access and Community in South Carolina

A Growers Group Farmer Training at Dirt Works Incubator Farm. Photo by Nikki Seibert, Lowcountry Local First. Beginning farmers are finding a new way to get on the land in South Carolina with the help of a local non-profit called Lowcountry Local First (LLF). In 2012, LLF welcomed farmers to South Carolina’s first incubator farm – Dirt Works Incubator, which is located just outside of Charleston. The newest post from Southern Terroir,... Read More

You did it! Farmer training + land access win in Farm Bill

Rep. Peterson, the House Ag Committee ranking member, calls for the bill’s passage. Our coalition was founded in 2010 in large part to help ensure that our needs as new, young and sustainable farmers are represented in public policy. And today, although we’re not happy with all aspects of the new farm bill, we are proud to say that many of the challenges that we face in starting new farm businesses – access to capital, land and training... Read More

Farm bill moves toward conference as lawmakers and farmers call for beginning farmer support

This week marked an exciting development in the two-year-long push to deliver a new five-year farm bill.  Both the House and the Senate have already passed their own versions of the bill; the remaining hurdle is to reconcile the two with each other in a way that will win approval both both bodies.  Read More  Read More

What’s at stake for the new farm bill? The next generation of farmers

Thanks to our friends at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition for letting us repost this well-written piece about a few of the most important beginning farmer programs at the USDA. Last fall, Congress allowed the farm bill to expire without a new bill to take its place.  Instead, Congressional leaders cobbled together an awful and temporary extension of the old farm bill on New Year’s Eve that shut down a number of innovative programs... Read More

This week the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are working on the 2013 Farm Bill!

Things are really picking up with the new Farm Bill.  After the painful slowness of last year, it’s surprising to see Congress actually building real momentum into writing the new five-year bill.  Here is the latest news from Washington: Last week, the House and Senate Agriculture Committees released draft farm bills.  Now, members of the Committees will “mark up” each draft bill by introducing amendments that will change the content... Read More

Act now for beginning farmers – support the Opportunity Act!

It’s not too late to speak up for beginning farmers! The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act is worth getting excited about!But first let’s make sure it gets the support it needs: Click here now! Last month, we announced that Republicans and Democrats in both houses of Congress introduced a new bill to give young and beginning farmers the support they deserve.  Despite all the partisan bickering in Washington these days, the... Read More

A Brief History of the 2012 Farm Bill

We get a lot of questions about exactly what went down with the Farm Bill last year.  (Honestly, it was head-spinning confusion even for seasoned policy experts.)  To help shed a little light, here’s a play-by-play recap: How the process should work For starters, what is the Farm Bill and how does it affect me? The Farm Bill is an omnibus bill (that is, one that incorporates many different topics) passed every five-ish years by the US Congress... Read More

New Website Database to Support Beginning Farmer Success in MA

The Beginning Farmer Network of Massachusetts (BFN/Mass), a coalition of farmers and farm service providers in MA, have officially released their new website clearinghouse for resources and information for beginning farmers in the state. The website, www.bfnmass.org, is designed to allow for simple navigation through  a database of service provider-offered loan and grant programs, classes, and other services.  At the same time, the website helps... Read More

USDA’s “Know Your Farmer” Compass Expanded

The USDA just expanded their “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” Compass, an online database of resources for farmers, now including resources from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Labor, EPA and many other federal agencies. The Compass is a searchable map of projects that have received some form of support for food work from the federal government.  The goal is to show the resources that the USDA – and now... Read More

With BFRDP, Grassworks Resists Corporate Dairying by Training Young Ranchers

In Wisconsin, as in most of the country, the path to becoming a teacher or a lawyer is well defined. But suppose you want to become a dairy farmer without a farm to inherit: That career path is less certain. And, with an aging population of farmers, it’s more important than ever to educate the next generation of ranchers. Many farms without successors are being sold to become large animal confinement operations. Wisconsin’s Bureau of Apprenticeship... Read More

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