USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Programs by the Numbers

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) funds the construction of hoop houses such as this one. (Photo courtesy of USDA) Last month, USDA hosted an event honoring the White House’s Future of American Agriculture Champions of Change, including NYFC’s own Lindsey Lusher Shute. This event recognized the need for young farmers and highlighted USDA resources targeted at these farmers in particular. Read More  Read More

Start Organizing with the NYFC Organizing Handbook

We’re kicking off the brand new year with a brand new resource for local young farmer organizing – the Organizing Handbook: How to Bring Local Farmers Together for Shared Success! Read More  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

Notes from Plowbreak Farm in Hector, NY

Walking into the field in Hector, New York, I find two farmers cheerfully harvesting basil and hot peppers. Meet Aaron Munzer and Kara Cusolito, founders of Plowbreak Farm.  Plowbreak Farm began in 2012 when Aaron and Kara leased three acres of loamy soil in the agriculturally rich Finger Lakes region. Their farming philosophy is simple: they grow good food because they like doing it, and they want to bring good food to other people. 2013 is only... Read More

April Farmer Mixer Roundup

Though the Farm Bill has been front-and-center as of late, the farmers of NYFC are not forgetting to have a good time! April was full of young farmer mixers, from Fort Collins to Albuquerque, Texas to Rhode Island. In Fort Collins, farmers from Colorado’s Front Range celebrated their second mixer potluck-style, packing the Empire Grange and dancing to the banjo-picking tunes of Blue Grama Bluegrass. Seasonal brews from New Belgium and Odell... Read More

The Conservation Reserve Program Goes to Work for Beginning Farmers

A valuable resource for beginning farmers to get to know is the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which is run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and seeks to conserve water, soil, and wildlife resources by temporarily taking land out of agricultural use.  The USDA offers annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to farmers to re-grow conserving cover such as grass and trees on land that has been used in row crop agriculture.   The... Read More

“How I found the farm of my dreams…” – Share your story today!

“I’ve been farming for several years, but I can’t find/afford any land!”  This lament is one that seems to echo around the beginning farmer community.  Well we want to do something about it! Allyson, of Full Heart Farm in Connecticut, spent several years apprenticing on different farms before deciding to move back to her home town. She bought this 6.25 acre property last year after many ups and downs with lending institutions and... Read More

NYFC Members Get $10 Off the CSA Expert Exchange!

Attention CSA Farmers!   The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) and Small Farm Central are proud to announce the CSA Expert Exchange, a one-day online conference that will bring farmers together to learn the best practices from experts on CSA management, member retention, member education, certification, equipment, and profitability. Noted CSA pioneer Elizabeth Henderson will give a keynote address about the importance... 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

Beginning Farmer Events at the SSAWG Conference

Headed to the SSAWG conference later this month?  Come out to a couple of beginning farmer mixers while you’re there to meet up with like-minded folks and get some dancing in!  These events are sponsored in part by the Southeast Young and Beginning Farmer Alliance, an NYFC affiliate.  (Haven’t heard about the conference or not yet registed?  It’s not too late – check out the conference web site for more information.) In... Read More

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