• 21Apr

    Webinar: Business Assistance Resources for Virginia Beginning Farmers and Ag Entrepreneurs, 2013

    Presenter:  Mr. Stephen Versen from Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS)

    Summary: Politicians love small businesses; they also love farmers.  As a result, farmers and entrepreneurs in Ag-based businesses enjoy a bigger suite of government assistance programs than just about any other group.  However, there is also a lot of confusion about what really is available:  reasonable loans to beginning farmers (yes), grants to raise alpacas (no).  To help sort all this out, Stephen Versen, a Project Manager in the Agriculture and Forestry Development Services unit at VDACS (Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services), will be discussing some of the most useful state and federal programs and answering your questions about accessing them.  Major topics discussed are USDA loan and grant programs, as well as assistance available through the Commonwealth of Virginia, including:  the Virginia Grown/Virginia’s Finest programs and the new Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID).

    You can find this webinar achieved at the following web address:


    This webinar series is presented by TheVirginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Project. The project is sponsored through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) of the USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

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    Start2Farm Together is the 3rd Annual Beginning Farmer and Rancher Conference and will take place on March 17-18, 2013 in Raleigh, NC. In contrast to previous years, this conference will be a forum for the improvement of beginning farmer and rancher development. This forum will feature a national conversation about the needs and opportunities of beginning farmers of all types throughout the country. The ultimate purpose of this conversation will be to share best practices, resources, and ideas nationwide about the effective development of successful beginning farmers and ranchers. We also hope to find common ground among varying types of agriculture that will provide a focus for efforts that will ultimately benefit all farmers.

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