The Next Generation of Farmers
December 12, 2010
The average age of farmers is increasing, and 70 percent of farmland is expected to change hands in the next 20 years. While a growing number of young people and new immigrants want to enter into farming, they face challenges such as the cost of farmland, a critical shortage of training, and lack of financing.
The MFAI Policy Programs supports assistance for the next generation of farmers, making it more likely that aspiring farmers will have the tools and financial resources they need to get a start on the land. Specifically, we helped create the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program which provides grants to entities that offer training, mentoring, and land-link opportunities for new farmers. This great program is still vulnerable to budget cuts, especially in tight budget times, and much of our policy work is organized around protecting its funding as part of our nationwide and multi-issue appropriations campaign.