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

New Reports Outline Steps Needed to Build an Inclusive Food System

One of the new reports from the Center for Social Inclusion In U.S. agriculture, there is a long history of discrimination against minority populations and women. For many years, these groups were purposefully excluded from Farm Service Agency (FSA) programs in their own communities. A series of class action lawsuits, most notably Pigford v. Glickman, brought these practices to an end. Read More  Read More

USDA Announces Increased Funding to Organic Growers

Last month USDA announced $13 million in Farm Bill funding will be available for organic certification cost share assistance, a win for small and beginning farmers who want to go organic. Secretary Tom Vilsack said the move is in response to an increasing consumer demand for organic products, and USDA “need[s] to make sure that small farmers who choose to grow organic products can afford to get certified.” Programs administered by the National... Read More

5 Farm Bill Changes You Should Know About

The 2014 Farm Bill changed several USDA programs to benefit beginning farmers and ranchers. These changes have already taken affect – all you need to do is ask about them at your local FSA or NRCS office! EQIP Advance Payment Option President Obama signing the farm bill. Image courtesy of whitehouse.gov. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides funding to help farmers pay for on-farm conservation improvements. These activities... Read More

NYFC June Newsletter: USDA Seeks Input, Fight for Affordable Farmland, New Staff, Events

It’s officially summer and you’re probably in over your heads. But if you can come up for air, we want to collect your USDA successes/frustrations, introduce our new staffers and this season’s Bootstrap Bloggers, and update you on our fight for affordable farmland. Read More  Read More

USDA 2012 Census of Agriculture Full Report Now Available

On May 2, USDA released the full 2012 Census of Agriculture data report. Performed every five years, the census takes an in-depth look at all aspects of US agriculture, and informs law and policymakers for years to come. In my last post, I reviewed USDA’s preliminary census report, which found that in general, the number of US farms is shrinking while the size of remaining farms is growing, and while older white males top the charts as principal... Read More

USDA to Release 2012 Census of Ag Data

Every five years, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) takes a hard look at the state of US agriculture by conducting a Census of Agriculture. In a very real way, the census is one of the few opportunities farmers have to tell the USDA about their operations—who they are, and what they need. Today, USDA will publish its full report of the 2012 Census of Agriculture. Below is a snippet of the agency’s preliminary report,... Read More

Tomorrow: USDA Deputy Secretary Harden Hosts an Online Workshop on Credit and Farm Finances

Deputy Harden visiting with a group of young farmers last fall. On Tuesday, April 1 at 4 p.m. EDT Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden will host a Google+ Hangout to discuss types of agricultural credit and ways to access them in support of your farm or ranch business. Read More  Read More

NYFC March 2014 Newsletter

We’ve kicked off the spring with an exciting win at the USDA! Thanks to feedback from our coalition, the Farm Service Agency is making key changes to its facilities loan program that will increase access to diversified farmers. Want to be involved in NYFC’s next policy win?  Now’s your chance – we’re calling for applications for a new Policy Analyst for the coalition, one of two new positions. In this March newsletter,... Read More

USDA Responds to NYFC Feedback with Major Changes to FSA Loan Program

The USDA announced major revisions to its Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) Program, a major win for young farmers who specialize in diversified operations and CSA’s.  Thanks to the efforts of NYFC and its allies, the new program is now more flexible and useable for a much broader set of farms needing to build or upgrade their storage facilities. Read More  Read More

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