Grant Opportunity for Beginning Farmer Projects, Apply Now

The USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program has released the 2011 request for applications. Deadline is December 22 (but DO NOT wait until the last day!) This program has about $19 million available for FY 2011. See theRFA for program management contacts and more details.

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program The U.S. agricultural population is poised to make a dramatic change - half of all current farmers are likely to retire in the next decade. According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, the average age of farm operators was 57 years. Farmers over the age 55 own more than half the farmland in the U.S. But the number of new farmers and ranchers over the age of 35 is increasing, as does the number of smaller farms and ranches nationwide. To address the needs of this changing generation, Section 7410 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub .L. No. 110-234) amended Section 7405 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 and made available in Fiscal Year 2009, $17.2 million to fund a Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). According to these legislations, a beginning farm is considered to be one that is operated by one or more operators who have 10 years or less of experience operating a farm or ranch. In 2007, approximately 21 percent of family farms met that definition. Special Notation More Beginning Farmer and Rancher Competitive Grants Program Information

Who Is Eligible to Apply · Other or Additional Information (See below) 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. Request for Application (RFA) | Apply: Electronic | Abstracts of Funded Projects Solicitation Date (Opening) October 26, 2010 Letter of Intent Due Date None Due Date (Closing) December 22, 2010 Anticipated Award Date October 1, 2011 Estimated Total Program Funding $19,000,000.00 Range of Awards Unavailable Percent of Applications Funded Last Fiscal Year 34% Cost Sharing Requirements At least equal to 25 percent of Federal funds awarded For More Information Contact Siva Sureshwaran Funding Opportunity Number USDA-NIFA-BFR-003356 CFDA Number 10.311 Contact for Electronic Access Problems

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