USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program

Description:  The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) for fiscal year (FY) 2014 to support the development of educational outreach curricula, workshops, educational teams, training, and technical assistance programs to assist beginning farmers and ranchers in the United States and its territories with entering, establishing, building and managing successful farm and ranch enterprises. This program will also provide a cooperative agreement to an online clearinghouse to make curricula, training materials and programs available to beginning farmers and ranchers and to provide associated support to BFRDP-funded projects and the overall BFRDP program.

While the need for legal services in this arena is not immediately apparently, USDA Secretary Vilsack has commented on the need for estate planning legal services to help farmers keep their family farms in their family. Vilsack said such legal barriers often prevent young farmers from taking over farms owned by their aging parents or grandparents.

Funding Title:    Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program

Agency Name:    Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Funding Instrument Type:     Grant

Express Language for Legal Aid:    No, but at least one legal aid program has received funding from this program. A legal aid program that frequently serves young and struggling farmers may find looking into this program worthwhile.

Target Population:

The target audience for BFRDP is farmers and ranchers who have not operated a farm or ranch, or have operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10 years. In addition, a portion of BFRDP funding is set aside for projects that address the needs of two subsets of beginning farmers and ranchers:

• Not less than 5 percent (5%) of the program funds available for standard BFRDP projects will be allocated to address the needs of limited resource beginning farmers and ranchers; socially disadvantaged beginning farmers or ranchers; immigrant farm workers planning to become beginning farmers or ranchers; and/or other farm workers desiring to become beginning farmers or ranchers.

• Not less than 5 percent (5%) of the program funds available for standard BFRDP projects will be allocated to address the needs of beginning farmers and ranchers who are military veterans. A recipient of such a grant may coordinate with a recipient of a grant from the AgrAbility program (http://www.agrability.org/) in addressing the needs of veteran farmers and ranchers with disabilities.

Expected Number of Awards:

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement:    NIFA requires that in order to receive an award under this program, the recipient must provide a match in the form of cash or in-kind contributions in an amount at least equal to 25 percent (25%) of the federal funds provided by the award. The matching funds must be from non-Federal sources except when authorized by statute.

How to Apply:     Only electronic applications may be submitted via Grants.gov to NIFA in response to this RFA.

Current Closing Date for Applications:       Jun 12, 2014

Estimated Total Program Funding:     $19,200,000

Award Ceiling:

Award Floor:  

Eligible Applicants:    Applications may only be submitted by a collaborative state, tribal, local, or regionally-based network or partnership of qualified public and/or private entities. These collaborations may include the following entities: State Cooperative Extension Services; Federal, State, or tribal agencies; community based organizations; nongovernmental organizations; junior and four-year colleges or universities or foundations maintained by a college or university; private for-profit organizations; and other appropriate partners. Inclusion of beginning and/or non-beginning farmers and ranchers as part of the collaborative group is strongly encouraged.

Priority Consideration:   

The priority topics are:

A. Basic livestock, forest management, and crop farming practices;

B. Innovative farm, ranch, and private, nonindustrial forest land transfer strategies;

C. Entrepreneurship and business training;

D. Financial and risk management training (including the acquisition and management of agricultural credit);

E. Natural resource management and planning;

F. Diversification and marketing strategies;

G. Curriculum development;

H. Mentoring, apprenticeships, and internships;

I. Resources and referral;

J. Farm financial benchmarking;

K. Assisting beginning farmers or ranchers in acquiring land from retiring farmers and ranchers;

L. Agricultural rehabilitation and vocational training for veterans;

M. Farm safety and awareness; and

N. Other similar subject areas of use to beginning farmers or ranchers.

Policy and Regulations on Use of Funds:     See http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/rfas/pdfs/14_bfrdp_mod.pdf

Current/Past Funding Recipients:

Samples of Successful Application:

Link to Full Announcement:    http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/rfas/pdfs/14_bfrdp_mod.pdf

Contact Information:

Dr. Jill Auburn, National Program Leader, Division of Agricultural Systems, Institute of Food Production and Sustainability, National Institute of Food and Agriculture; U.S. Department of Agriculture; STOP 2240; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20250-2240; Telephone: 202-720-2635 or Fax: 202-401-6070; E-mail: jauburn@nifa.usda.gov.

Or

Dr. Denis Ebodaghe, National Program Leader, Division of Agricultural Systems, Institute of Food Production and Sustainability, National Institute of Food and Agriculture; U.S. Department of Agriculture; STOP 2240; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20250-2240; Telephone: 202-401-4385 or Fax: 202-401-6070; E-mail: debodaghe@nifa.usda.gov.

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Categories: Consumer, Education Organizations, Government Organizations, Native American Tribes or Tribal Organizations, Non-profit Organizations, Small Businesses, Subgrant Possibilities, USDA

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