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Research, Technical Assistance and Education

USDA offers a wealth of information for new farmers and ranchers. This includes providing cutting edge research in the field of agriculture, collecting and sharing information on markets, providing technical assistance with common issues on the farm, and offering programs to help support new farmers and ranchers in local communities.

As a new farmer or rancher, you can use these resources to plan your business, address risk, assess opportunities for growth and expansion, and connect with your community.

As an organization looking to support a new generation of farming and ranching, you can find tools to support you in your work and opportunities to partner with USDA.


 

For Farmers and Ranchers

USDA Research, Education, and Economics

USDA is dedicated to the creation of a safe, sustainable, competitive U.S. food and fiber system and strong, healthy communities, families, and youth through integrated research, analysis and education - offering cutting edge research, economic insight, and timely and accurate statistics for the agricultural and consumer community.

For more information, please visit USDA's Research, Education and Economics (REE) Web site.

Ag Census

Since 1840, the U.S. government has collected important census data on agriculture.

Cooperative Extension

USDA and agricultural colleges around the country work together to support an extensive network of state, regional, and county Cooperative Extension offices, which can help answer questions you may have about your operation and common issues faced by agricultural producers. These offices also conduct workshops and educational events for the agricultural community.

Alternatively, you can also crowd-source research-proven and science-based knowledge via eXtension, the Extension system's national online interactive learning environmentThis is an external link or third-party site outside of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website..

Federally Recognized Tribal Extension Program

USDA supports extension agents on American Indian reservations to assist in developing profitable farming and ranching techniques.

For more information, please visit the NIFA Tribal Institutions Web site.

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)

SARE's grants and education programsThis is an external link or third-party site outside of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website. promote profitability; stewardship of the land, air, and water; and quality of life for farmers, ranchers, and their communities.

Start2Farm.gov

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program has made available a clearinghouse of information for new and beginning farmers, Start2Farm.gov.

Market News

The Agriculture Marketing Service's Market News provides real time price, volume, supply, and demand information that you can use in making production and marketing decisions.

The Latest Commodity and Weather Projections

You can find updated information each month about the Department's projections for commodity production and prices for the current marketing year on USDA's World Agricultural Outlook Board Web site.

In addition, the Office of the Chief Economist publishes weekly updates on US and global crop weather conditions, including the current Drought Monitor.

Learning Guide Series

USDA has created a Learning Guide Series for small and mid-sized producers to help navigate specific sets of USDA's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Tools and Resources.

ATTRA

USDA funds ATTRAThis is an external link or third-party site outside of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website., the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, which makes information and technical assistance available to farmers, ranchers, Extension agents, educators, and others involved in sustainable agriculture in the United States. ATTRA offers a wide variety of resources for new farmers and ranchers.

Food Safety: Help Getting GAP Certified

USDA offers a user's guide to Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices Audits from the Agricultural Marketing Service - as well as information about the audit process.

USDA, along with leaders from food and agriculture organizations, also support a free online tool, On-Farm Food Safety ProjectThis is an external link or third-party site outside of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website., to help U.S. producers of all sizes achieve GAP harmonized standards and certification. This site helps farmers design a customized manual to meet GAP harmonized standards and certification requirements, including USDA GAP standards, and mitigate business risks by answering just a few questions.

Complying with USDA Meat, Poultry, and Processed Egg Regulations

New and small meat, poultry, or processed egg product producers with questions about inspection-related policies, programs, systems, and procedures can find resources through the Food Safety and Inspection Service's Small Plant Help Desk.

For Organizations Supporting New Farmers and Ranchers

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, administered by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, provides grants to organizations that train, educate, and provide outreach and technical assistance to new and beginning farmers on production, marketing, business management, legal strategies, and other topics critical to running a successful operation.

Outreach Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Grants

Outreach Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veterans Farmers and Ranchers grants (formerly known as Section 2501 grants) provide funds to tribes, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations throughout the country to conduct training, outreach, and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, forest landowners, and veteran farmers and ranchers.

AgrAbility

The AgrAbility program supports projects (led by State Cooperative Extension Services, in coordination with private, non-profit disability organizations) to enhance quality of life for farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers with disabilities.

Intertribal Agriculture Council's Technical Assistance Network

USDA works closely with the Intertribal Agriculture CouncilThis is an external link or third-party site outside of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website. to promote the use of Tribal resources in Indian Country and facilitate the application process for USDA loans and grants. The Intertribal Agriculture Council also facilitates the export of products produced by Tribes, Tribal organizations and Tribal citizens.

Small Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant

The Small Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant program provides technical assistance to small, socially-disadvantaged agricultural producers in rural areas through eligible cooperatives and cooperative development centers.

Risk Management Education for Producers

The Risk Management Agency offers two opportunities each year to partner with organizations working with producers to provide crop insurance education and risk management training. Special emphasis is given to Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource, and Minority Farmers and Ranchers. For more information on how organizations can partner with RMA please visit Partnership and Cooperative Agreements.

Military Veterans: the Next Generation of Organic Farmers

A veteran and participant of the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training program, Colin Archipley handles living basil at an organic hydroponic farm, which grows plants in water as opposed to soil.A veteran and participant in the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training program handles living basil at a certified organic hydroponic farm, which grows plants in water as opposed to soil. The program, started by decorated Marine Sergeant Colin Archipley, passes on agricultural knowledge to veterans to not only provide healing through farming but also to support them in starting their own agricultural enterprises.

For more, read the entire blog.