Helping Beginning Farmers Start Farming Successfully
March 19, 2013
With the average age of farmers at 57 years and the fastest growing segment of the farming population at age 65 and older, a crucial strategy to support our nation’s agricultural future is to help new farmers succeed in farming. MFAI’s Garden Student Program has a long history of supporting interns through hands-on learning, and our Whole Farm Workshops complements that program with practical training on a wide variety of topics. Next generation of farmers: MFAI’s policy program has worked to assure funding for the Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Grant Program at the federal level and to support inclusion of set-asides of funding in numerous federal programs for beginning farmers. We also have worked to obtain funding for the office at USDA that was designated in the 2008 Farm Bill to be the hub of such work, the USDA’s Office of Advocacy and Outreach.