Young Farmers, Beginning Farmers, and the Next Farm Bill

Young farmers need help from the USDA—and the next Farm Bill (click here to read full article)

(by Lindsey Lusher Shute, Grist)

EXCERPT: Unless an agricultural revival and major policy change begins now, the numbers of farmers will certainly shrink: the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture estimates that 500,000 farmers will retire in the next 20 years. And that's why U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently called for 100,000 new farmers, and some of the few uncontroversial elements of the last Farm Bill were the handful of programs and provisions for new and beginning farmers. The government offers Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program grants (which provide funds for universities and nonprofits to train farmers) as well as direct loans to farmers to operate their farms or buy land.

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