The Importance of Farmer Training Programs


UCSC ApprenticeshipThousands of farmers and ranchers from around the country have benefited from trainings and educational events paid for by the USDA’s funding initiative, the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. 

However, all these trainings are at risk unless Congress backs down on its attempt to use the program as a budgetary scapegoat: in the next couple weeks, they will most likely put together a temporary Farm Bill, and the BFRDP may be pulled onto the chopping block.

The program is widely considered one of the USDA’s most successful programs – since it received funding in 2008, this program has supported 145 different training programs, from apprenticeship programs in Illinois to legal aid for farmers in Nebraska.  This year alone, forty programs, from Mississippi to Nebraska to Washington, have worked to inspire and train the next generation of American farmers with the help of the BFRDP.   More information and a complete list of funded programs is available at NYFC’s Spotlight on the BFRDP.

That is why we created a Change.org petition to let Congress know where their priorities should lie.  We need a sensible Farm Bill – one that addresses the drought crisis of the midwest – without shortsightedly slashing funding for the nation’s agricultural future.

Could you take a minute to tell your representative to support this program today?

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