• 21Jun

    Stateline Farm Beginnings Farmer Training: Applications Now Accepted!

    In 2014 Angelic Organics Learning Center (Illinois) is celebrating ten years of offering Stateline Farm Beginnings! Stateline Farm Beginnings is a farmer-led training and support program designed to help people plan and launch sustainable farm businesses. Since 2005 Angelic Organics Learning Center has led the way in strategic farm business planning education, and we hope you will join us in class this fall.

    Aside from a time-tested curriculum, there are several benefits to choosing Stateline Farm Beginnings:

    Join a vibrant farmer alliance - Get a jump-start on building the region-wide community that your farm business will need to thrive. By enrolling in Stateline Farm Beginnings, your tuition includes a yearlong membership to Upper Midwest C.R.A.F.T (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training)—the most robust network of sustainable farms in the region.

    Learn farm business planning from real farmers - Get real-world, practical, and specialized knowledge from the farmers leading the local food movement in the Upper Midwest.

    Focus exclusively on sustainable agriculture - Examples used in class materials are solely from Biodynamic, organic and sustainable farm operations.

    Leverage knowledge from across the country - Classes are facilitated by staff that leverage expertise from ten other Farm Beginnings programs across the country; Gain access to advanced farmer training programs

    Graduates that start or continue farm businesses can apply for additional farmer-training resources offered by the Learning Center.

    I hope you will join us to build a solid plan for realizing your farm dream. Feel free to email statelinefarmbeginnings@learngrowconnect.org or go to http://www.learngrowconnect.org/stateline-farm-beginnings for more information.

  • 18Jun

    Invitation to provide input to Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program

    From: Jill Auburn, National Program Leader, Division of Agricultural Systems, Institute of Food Production & Sustainability USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture

    Deadline for written input: July 3, 2014

    Deadline to sign up for June 26 oral input: June 24, 2014

    The USDA is seeking stakeholder input to the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP), from applicants to the program; national, State, tribal and local organizations and others who operate beginning farmer and rancher programs; farmers and ranchers involved in beginning farmer and rancher training programs; and any other interested individuals or organizations.   Stakeholder input is welcome at any time, but to be incorporated into planning for the 2015 cycle, it should be sent by July 3, 2014, via email tobfrdp@nifa.usda.gov (please put “comments” in the subject line) or via fax to 202/401-6070 addressed to BFRDP Program Staff. Read more »

  • 17Jun

    National Farmers Union Announces Beginning Farmer Institute Participants

    WASHINGTON (June 9, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) announced the 15 participants selected for the fourth class of its Beginning Farmer Institute. Those selected for the next class are Nicole Vojtech of Ohio; Tracey Zink of Nebraska; Courtney Krueger of North Dakota; Chris Holman and Kriss Marion of Wisconsin; Harrison Topp of Colorado; Glen Hughes and Thomas Clark of Indiana; Erin Bailey of Washington; Rick Duvall of Illinois; Chelsea Kruse of New Hampshire;  Troy Hunoff of South Dakota; Nicholas Levendofsky, Matt and Leah Ubel of Kansas.

    “The Beginning Farmer Institute underscores our commitment to growing a new generation of family agriculture,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “The program helps answer questions new farmers have. It also allows us to share our expertise to answer questions that people might not think of asking when they begin farming.”

    Institute participants will meet several times over the next year to learn about financial planning, farm management and farmer-owned cooperatives. In addition, they will help determine the agenda based on what they have identified as important to their operation. Topics include marketing, understanding U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, renewable energy, recording keeping, farm transitioning and understanding the local food system. Read more »

  • 15Jun

    Check our these articles on New Farmer Loans from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

    Federal Farm Loans Have Increased Access to Land for New Farmers Over the Past 20 Years: Access to affordable farmland is one of the most significant challenges that new and aspiring farmers face when looking to start a career in agriculture.  Whether trying to find land in California’s Central Valley or New York’s Hudson Valley, land access can often be a make or break issue for anyone with hopes of starting their own farm.  Read more…

    Down Payment Loans Help Beginning Farmers Buy Farmland: Two of the biggest barriers for beginning farmers and ranchers are access to land and access to capital.  Helping beginning farmers not only find land, but also the capital to purchase land, is important to creating real opportunity for the next generation of farmers and ranchers.  This is particularly important for rural communities as they become stronger and more viable as opportunities and ownership are expanded for the next generation.  When we invest in helping the next generation of farmers and ranchers get started and build assets, we are creating a stronger and more vibrant future for rural communities.  Read more…

  • 13Jun

    The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has posted a new Agriculture Census Drilldown: Beginning Farmers and Ranchers – The new Census data continues to show the aging of the American farm population, with the average age of the American farmer increasing from 57.1 in 2007 to 58.3 in 2012.  What’s more concerning however, is the slow rate at which new farmers are entering agriculture, and the much faster rate at which older farmers are retiring from farming.

    Also See the Previous Post on Beginning Farmer Numbers in the Ag Census for more information

    Below – Number of “principal operators” by Age of Operator (2007 and 2012)

    Numbers of Farmers by Age

  • 12Jun

    CRP Signup and Beginning Farmer Transition Incentive Announced by USDA

    USDA began continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) signup on June 9 and also announced that retiring farmers enrolled in CRP could receive incentives to transfer a portion of their land through the Transition Incentives Program (TIP). TIP provides two additional years of payments for retired farmers and ranchers who transition expiring CRP acres to socially disadvantaged, military veteran, or beginning producers who return the land to sustainable grazing or crop production.

    The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), which administers CRP, will coordinate the various CRP program opportunities. For more information on CRP and other FSA programs, visit a local FSA county office or go online to www.fsa.usda.gov.

  • 06Jun

    Angelic Organics Learning Center in Illinois is now accepting farmer applications for the Technical Assistance Program

    The Technical Assistance Program (TAP) pairs farmers with consultants who provide targeted, one-on-one expertise and assistance in the areas of land acquisition, business management, production and marketing. TAP grantees receive up to $500 worth of technical assistance. The overarching goal of TAP is to improve the economic viability of family farms in CRAFT.

    What is the goal of TAP?

    • To improve your farm’s productivity and efficiency

    • To inform AOLC of the needs of CRAFT farms, so that future programming is designed to meet these needs

    What would the farmer’s responsibilities be?

  • 26May

    Join USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden for a Google+ Hangout on May 28th: What the Farm Bill Means for New Farmers

    In February 2014, President Obama signed the new Farm Bill into law. But what does that mean for you as a new farmer or rancher?  What’s new about this Farm Bill and what programs can you use? What questions should you be asking? USDA is here to answer your questions.

    On Wednesday, May 28th at 3 p.m. EDT Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden will host a Google+ Hangout to discuss what the farm bill means for new farmers. Click here to join:  www.usda.gov/live

    The Agricultural Act of 2014 is an important piece of legislation that provides authorization for services and programs that impact every American and millions of people around the world. It also creates new opportunities for new farmers and ranchers to participate in USDA programs and makes key investments in the future of farming and ranching.

    This Google Hangout is part of a discussion series hosted by Deputy Secretary Harden on the changing face of agriculture and the opportunities presented by a career in farming or ranching.

    - See more at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/05/22/join-us-for-a-google-hangout-on-may-28th-what-the-farm-bill-means-for-new-farmers/#sthash.IZqb5Q9J.dpuf

  • 20May

    Farmer-led Beginning Farmer Training Program in Illinois Celebrating 10 Years

    Starting a farm business is no easy task. That is why Angelic Organics Learning Center coordinates the Stateline Farm Beginnings® program to help people plan and launch sustainable farm businesses. The application period for the yearlong program starting in October opens June 1st, 2014.

    Stateline Farm Beginnings® is a farmer-led training and support program designed to help people plan and launch sustainable farm businesses. Since 2005, graduates of the program have launched more than 55 new sustainable farms in Illinois!

    Stateline Farm Beginnings® has a 10-year track record in training beginning farmers in business planning. Since 2005:

            • Over 200 individuals have graduated from Stateline Farm Beginnings

            • Over 70% of our graduates are farming

            • Over 55 farm businesses have been started by graduates

    Visit the Stateline Farm Beginnings website for more information.

    Check out more beginning farmer training programs across the country at http://www.beginningfarmers.org/beginning-farmer-training-programs/

  • 08May

    Beginning Beekeepers Workshop At the Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center

    May 15, 2014: 6PM – 9PM and May 17, 2014: 9AM – 2PM

    About the Workshop

    This two-session class will prepare the beginning beekeeper for a successful season. The first class is a three-hour, classroom-based session that provides the student with a strong foundation of beekeeping knowledge. The second session includes instruction with both classroom and field-based modules. The fee for the 8-hour workshop is $99 and includes a beekeeping book and lunch on Saturday.

    Topics Include:

    History of the Hive and Honeybee; Honeybee Biology; Necessary Equipment; Honeybee Pests and Diseases; Laws and Regulations; African Honeybees; Pollen and Nectar Sources; and Harvesting Your Honey Read more »

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