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Deadline: March 25, 2021

U.S. Department of Agriculture: Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) seeks to help beginning farmers and ranchers enter and/or improve their successes in farming, ranching, and management of nonindustrial private forest lands, through support for projects that provide education, mentoring, and technical assistance to give beginning farmers and ranchers the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to make informed decisions for their operations, and enhance their sustainability. The term “farmer” is used in the broadest sense and may be interpreted to include agricultural farmers, ranchers, and non-industrial private forest owners and managers.

Applications from partnerships and collaborations that are led by or include nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations (CBOs), and school-based agricultural educational organizations (SAEOs) with expertise in new agricultural producer training and outreach will be given priority in funding. BFRDP grants may fund programs or services relating to:

a) Basic livestock, forest management, and crop farming practices
b) Innovative farm, ranch, and private, nonindustrial forest land transfer and succession strategies
c) Entrepreneurship and business training
d) Technical assistance to help beginning farmers or ranchers acquire land from retiring farmers and ranchers
e) Financial and risk management training, including the acquisition and management of agricultural credit
f) Natural resource management and planning
g) Diversification and marketing strategies
h) Curriculum development
i) Mentoring, apprenticeships, and internships
j) Resources and referral
k) Farm financial benchmarking
l) Agricultural rehabilitation and vocational training for veteran farmers and ranchers
m) Farm safety and awareness
n) Food safety and record-keeping
o) Other similar subject areas of use to beginning farmers or ranchers

Applications for BFRDP will be accepted under the following areas in FY 2021:

(1) Standard Grants: Small and large standard BFRDP projects support new and established local and regional training, education, outreach and technical assistance initiatives for beginning farmers and ranchers, on the priority topics listed above.
(2) Educational Teams (ETs): Grants aims to enhance beginning farmer efforts based on a particular topic, region, or audience. ET applications must support development of curricula and conduct educational programs and workshops for beginning farmers or ranchers in diverse geographical areas of the United States, or provide training and technical assistance initiatives for beginning farmers or ranchers or for trainers and service providers that work with beginning farmers or ranchers.

Amount: $16,500,000 is available to make awards, as follows:
* Small grants: Forty-five awards of approximately $200,000 each for up to 3 years will be made annually.
* Educational team: Two wards of approximately $200,000 each for up to 3 years will be made annually.

A 25% match is typically required.

Eligibility: A a collaborative state, tribal, local, or regionally based network or partnership of qualified public and/or private entities. These collaborations may include the following entities: State Cooperative Extension Services; Federal, State, municipal or tribal agencies; community-based organizations (CBOs); nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); junior and four-year colleges or universities or foundations maintained by a college or university; and private for-profit organizations. Inclusions of beginning and/or non-beginning farmers and ranchers as part of the collaborative group is strongly encouraged.

Link: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/beginning-farmer-and-rancher-development-program-bfrdp

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