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.

The Benefits of the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program

This program offers grants to organizations with the goal to support education, mentor, and technical help for beginning farmers and ranchers. Based on the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service’s or census data, there are about one-third of the 3.4 million farmers in the United States are over the age of 65. Therefore, this program is designed to generate a new generation of beginning farmers and ranchers.

The  continuation of agricultural production is essential in the United States. The beginning farmers and ranchers come with unique training, educational, and technical assistance.

The participants of this grant will get an access to land, capital, and knowledge that helps in increasing sustainability and profitability which are vital to ranchers and farmers in the first 10 year of operation.

The main goal of BFRDP is to help beginning ranchers and farmers in the United States and the territories to improve their success in ranching, farming, and managing non-industrial private forest lands.

The definition of beginning rancher or farmer means an individual who has not run a farm or ranch, or individual who has run ranch or farm for under 10 years.

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.


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.

Educational Enhancement Team Project

Basically, Standard Grants for beginning farmers and ranchers are for three years while the Development Grants are one year. The second project is Educational Enhancement Team (EET) project. The team project is 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 for four to five years.

Who Should Apply

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 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 get education and professional training through 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, the expectation is 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: electronic@nifa.usda.gov (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.


What is the beginning farmer program in Texas?

The program is available twice a year, which is fall and spring. The goal of this program is to offer financial help in the form of dollar. The grant will fund young agricultural producers so this will increase and expand the agricultural business in Texas.

What is the beginning farmer program in Iowa?

Beginning Farmer Loan Program or BFLP helps new farmers in getting agricultural property by providing loans at the decreased interest rates. This program is useful to help in the purchase of the agricultural land and breeding livestock or buildings.

Is farming big in Colorado?

Agriculture in Colorado spreads across 38,900 farms and ranches for about 32 million, privately owned acres. The agriculture in Colorado contributes about $47 billion per year to the economy and it employs over 195,000 people.

What is the Beginning Farmer Program in the Alabama?

Alabama Beginning Farmer Program is an educational campaign and it is the strategic mission program of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. It is a statewide multi-team and multi-institutional program that supports and trains thousands of small and medium farms in Alabama.

How many beginning farmers are there in the US?

It was in 2017, the United States had about 908,274 producers who known as beginning farmers. The beginning farmer is any individual who has farmed for less than 10 years. They were 27% of the 3.4 million producers in the country.

Where is the most farming in the US?

Texas had the most farms in 2021, in the US, followed by Missouri and then Iowa.  Texas had roughly 12% of the farms in the US back in 2021.

What is Grow Louisiana Beginning Farmer Training Program?

Grow Louisiana is a partnership of cooperative extension, academic, and non-profit personnel. The goal is to train new and beginning farmers under 10 years of experience on small to medium sized farms in the Louisiana.


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  • (https://www.nifa.usda.gov/grants/programs/beginning-farmer-rancher-development-program-bfrdp)