Resources for Beginning Farmers
With a growing global population demanding more food and fiber, the need for farmers has never been more important. However, being a beginning farmer is not an easy task. For this reason, it is important for beginning farmers to know what resources are available to assist in your farming venture.
To start, the USDA is a great resource for farmers. The USDA offers: financial assistance, help with finalizing business plans, and conservation planning. While not an exhaustive list the financial assistance programs and grants include:
- Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program(BFRDP)
- Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQUIP)
- Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
- Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
- Value-Added Producer Grant Program
- Tree Assistance Program (TAP)
- Livestock Indemnity Program
USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices are located across the country and communities they serve, which is about 2,000 counties nationwide. Each FSA office is staffed with a team that knows the programs to help you get started as a new farmer or rancher. Locate your nearest FSA office.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides landowners with free technical assistance or advice to farmers and ranchers to help them implement voluntary conservation measures that benefit both the environment and agricultural operations. Common technical assistance includes: resource assessment, practice design and resource monitoring. As a new and beginning farmer, NRCS programs may provide up to approximately 90 percent of the estimated costs associated with implementing conservation practices and may also provide up to 50 percent in advance for the purpose of purchasing materials or contracting. Your conservation planner will help determine if financial assistance is right for you.
The Farm Credit system serves the credit needs of young, beginning and small farmers and ranchers. The future of agriculture depends on young farmers. Loans are offered to young and beginning farmers and ranchers to help them build their farm, purchase land, buy equipment, money for operating expenses, transferring the family farm or livestock purchases.
Being a farmer-owned cooperative Farm Credit understands the unique needs of our borrowers. We serve every part of agriculture from the smallest operations to the largest and everything in between. Call us today to discuss how we can help your new farm operation, 863-682-4117 or visit us at www.farmcreditcfl.com