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Getting Started with the Basics

Once you are ready to take that first step, come meet us at USDA. Our team of talented employees know the programs inside and out that are available to help you get started as a new farmer or rancher. USDA employees can share their expertise, advice on getting started, and a roadmap on how USDA can partner with new farmers or ranchers as you begin or expand your business.

USDA offices are located across the country, throughout the communities that they serve.


"It is our responsibility to assist beginning farmers and ranchers, including - women, minorities, socially disadvantaged, our returning veterans who are interested in reconnecting with the land. We have a responsibility to enable them to start and stay in the business of agriculture."
- Secretary Tom Vilsack

Welcome to the New Farmers Web Site

Find a USDA Service Center Near You

USDA Service Centers are where you can access some of the most critical services offered by USDA, including financial assistance, help finalizing a business plan, and conservation planning.

Note: Some service centers may not offer all services. Contact the center before making the trip if you have any questions.

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.

Be Included

As a new farmland owner or renter, you are encouraged to visit your local Farm Service Agency office to establish a farm record. The records can help you find USDA programs that can provide assistance for your operation.

Help Developing a Business Plan

One of the most important things that you can have is a good business plan.

For more information, please see pages 22-31 of "Your Guide to FSA Farm Loans" (PDF, 3.5MB).

Ag Risk & Farm Management Library

USDA funds the Web-based Ag Risk and Farm Management LibraryThis is an external link or third-party site outside of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website., which helps agricultural producers and professionals quickly find the information they need on risk management, marketing, financial management, and more. It also has more than 2,700 crop budgets representing over 280 crops, and more than 400 livestock budgets from over 30 states. Crop budgets can be a guide as you make your business plan.

19-Year-Old Hopes to Retire Early and Farm

Photo of Austin Midkiff sitting with fire-fighting clothes in front of a pick up truck.Austin Midkiff thinks, breathes and lives farming. It's all he has done since he was six years old. By the time he was 14, he took over his grandparents' 10-acre farm in Springdale, West Virginia. "When I turned 16 my grandparents sold everything to me in order to teach me how to get things on my own and start from scratch," said Midkiff. "It's hard starting off."

For more, read the entire blog.