This week, USDA announced $18 million in federal grant funding to be invested in 37 projects across the country, which help to “educate, mentor, and enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers”.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), which issues an annual progress report on BFRDP in conjunction with the Land Stewardship Project, applauds USDA’s prioritization of community-based and non-profit organizations in this year’s funding cycle.
“Community-based and non-profit organizations have played a vital role in developing innovative training programs specifically targeted to new farmers over the past decade,” said Juli Obudzinski, NSAC Senior Policy Specialist. “If we’re creating programs to foster the next generation of farmers and ranchers, we absolutely have to involve them at every stage. Community-based organizations are also often farmer-based. They are skilled at facilitating engagement with both farmers and other rural stakeholders, and we are excited to see these projects being prioritized by USDA.”
In total, 29 of the 37 projects funded by USDA this year will be led by community-based and non-profit organizations. University partners will lead the remaining 8. While USDA is required by statute to prioritize funding for projects that “partner with” community-based and non-profit organizations, they have not always prioritized projects led by them.
NSAC congratulates all of the grant recipients, especially the hard-working and dedicated farmer-based organizations who work directly with beginning farmers and ranchers every day. NSAC member organizations receiving awards include:
- Agriculture and Land Based Training Association, California
- Angelic Organics Learning Center, Illinois
- Future Harvest CASA, Maryland
- Just Food, New York
- Land Stewardship Project, Minnesota
- National Center for Appropriate Technology, Arkansas/Montana
- National Young Farmers Coalition, New York
- Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, Ohio
Abstracts for this year's funded projects can be viewed on NIFA's reporting website.
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