Grants available to help the next generation of producers

Feb 19, 2010
by WLJ

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the availability of more than $18 million in grants to help train, educate and enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP).

BFRDP is an education, training, technical assistance and outreach program designed to help U.S. farmers and ranchers—specifically those who have been farming or ranching for 10 years or less. NIFA will make grants available to organizations to design pro grams to help beginning farmers and ranchers. Project results are expected to be disseminated widely to all farmers. Proposals are due April 6, and applications are available at www.csrees. erandrancher.cfm.

Priority will be given to projects that are partnerships and collaborations led by or including non-governmental and communitybased organizations with expertise in new agricultural producer training and outreach. All applicants are required to provide funds or in-kind support from nonfederal sources in an amount that is at least equal to 25 percent of the federal funds requested.

In fiscal year 2010, only standard projects and a few educational enhancement teams will be funded. All projects will be limited to three years. Budget requests in the proposals must not exceed $250,000 per year. For standard projects, NIFA is looking for proposals in these areas: Mentoring, apprenticeships and internships; Resources and referrals; Assisting beginning farmers or ranchers in acquiring land from retiring farmers and ranchers; Innovative farm and ranch transfer strategies; Entrepreneurship and business training; Model land leasing contracts; Financial management training; Whole farm planning; Conservation assistance; Risk management education; Diversification and marketing strategies; Curriculum development; Understanding the impact of concentration and globalization; Basic livestock and crop farming practices; Acquisition and management of agricultural credit; and Environmental compliance.

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people’s daily lives and the nation’s future. More information is at www. — WLJ