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NIFA Announces the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) Funding Opportunity

Section 7410 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub .L. No. 110-234) amended Section 7405 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, and made available in fiscal year (FY) 2009 $18 million to fund a Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). To support the nation’s beginning farmers and ranchers, the BFRDP will make competitive grants to new and established local and regional training, education, outreach, and technical assistance initiatives that address the needs of beginning farmers and ranchers in the following 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
  • iversification and marketing strategies
  • Curriculum development
  • Understanding the impact of concentration and globalization
  • Basic livestock and crop farming practices
  • The acquisition and management of agricultural credit
  • Environmental compliance
  • Information processing
  • Other similar subject areas of use to beginning farmers or ranchers

NIFA has released the FY 2009 Request for Applications (RFA) for the BFRDP inviting applications in each of the areas above. Project periods will be limited to 3 years. Proposed budget requests must not exceed $250,000 per year.

Priority will be given to projects that are partnerships and collaborations led by or including nongovernmental and community-based organizations with expertise in new agricultural producer training and outreach. In accordance with the authorizing legislation, the RFA will also invite applications for an online clearinghouse that makes education curricula and training materials and programs available to beginning farmers and ranchers.

To be eligible to receive a BFRDP grant, the recipient must be a collaborative state, tribal, local, or regionally-based network or partnership of public or private entities, which may include a state cooperative extension service; a federal, state, or tribal agency; a community-based and nongovernmental organization; college or university (including an institution awarding an associate’s degree) or foundation maintained by a college or university; or any other appropriate partner, as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture.

All applicants must provide funds or in-kind support from non-federal sources in an amount that is at least equal to 25 percent of the federal funds requested.

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