Wondering What Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program is?

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program – Farming is a great agricultural industry in the United States. If we check most of the food products such as corn, wheat, soybeans, oats, barley, sorghum, peas, tobacco, potatoes, and fruits, they are exported from this country. Then if we take a look at how the United States organizes its agricultural industry, it is not surprising since the government offers helpful programs and funding for farmers. The United States Department of Agriculture or USDA conducts programs of food distribution, forestry, export expansion, production adjustment, farm product, human nutrition, grading and inspection, agricultural education, and development of rural areas.

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program

One of USDA’s programs is the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program or also called BFRDP. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), a unit under USDA, is appointed by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill) to administer this program. In general, the primary purpose of the USDA beginning farmer program is to enhance food security; community development, and sustainability by providing beginning farmers and ranchers in the United States with knowledge and skills to operate their farms and to enhance the sustainability of their agricultural production.

beginning farmer and rancher development program 2015

Briefly, in 2015 the BFRDP committee determines two types of projects which are qualified to be funded. The first project is named Standard BFRDP project. The purpose of the Standard BFRDP project is merely the same as the aforementioned primary purpose of BFRDP. However, the applicants for this Standard BFRDP project will have the opportunity to receive Standard Grants and Development Grants. Basically, Standard Grants for beginning farmers and ranchers are given for three years while the Development Grants are limited to one year. The second project is Educational Enhancement Team (EET) project. The team project is aimed to identify and address the gaps in the training programs for beginning farmers and ranchers by evaluating the existing programs and developing special training for the farm program trainers. The grants for this EET project are given for four to five years.

Who Shall Enroll

Those who are eligible to apply for USDA grants for the Beginning Farmers and Rancher Development Program are organizations for education, mentoring, and technical aid initiatives for beginning farmers or ranchers. The audience of this program is targeted for new farmers and ranchers who have not run a farm or ranch, or who have operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10 years. USDA prioritizes farm grants for Beginning Farmers and Rancher Development Program for organizations or educational training institutions; which are in collaboration or partnership with non-governmental organizations, agriculture educational institutions, or community-based organizations with expertise in beginning agricultural producer training. The applicants must address certain topics determined by the Agricultural Act of 2014 in the area of farming, ranching, and forestry as listed on nifa.usda.gov.

The Agriculture Act of 2014 provides an additional $20 million each year from 2014 to 2018. The grants are available through this Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. More farmers will be educated and trained professionally through given grants for beginning ranchers and farmers. Therefore, the sustainability of agricultural production can be secured for more years ahead. By providing grants for the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program, it is expected that the next generation of farmers in the United States are able to keep upgrading their prosperous triumph in farming.


Who Is Eligible to Apply:

1862 Land-Grant Institutions, 1890 Land-Grant Institutions, 1994 Land-Grant Institutions, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Private Institutions of Higher Ed

More Information on Eligibility:

The recipient must be a collaborative, State, tribal, local, or regionally-based network or partnership of public or private entities, which may include: state cooperative extension service; community-based and nongovernmental organization; college or university (including institutions awarding associate degrees); or any other appropriate partner. Others may be eligible to apply. Please refer to Part III of the current BFRDP Request for Applications for complete eligibility requirements.


  • Posted Date: Friday, January 9, 2015
  • Closing Date: Friday, March 13, 2015


  • Contact for Electronic Access Problems: [email protected] (link sends e-mail)
  • Funding Opportunity Number: USDA-NIFA-BFR-004835
  • CFDA number: 10.311
  • Relevant Documents: application/pdf 14_BFRDP modification 5.7.pdf (280.68 KB)
  • Estimated Total Program Funding: $18,540,000
  • Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: At least equal to 25 percent (25%) of the federal funds awarded.
  • Image: resourcespotlight.farmaid.org