The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced the availability of $16.5 million in grant funds to help launch new and expand existing programs to train beginning farmers and ranchers. These federal grants will be awarded through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP), which was reauthorized in the 2018 Farm Bill. To date, BFRDP remains the only USDA program specifically dedicated to training the next generation of America’s farmers and ranchers.
USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), which administers BFRDP, formally released the Requests for Application (RFA) for fiscal years (FY) 2021 and 2022 in late December. Organizations interested in applying for grant funding must submit an electronic application through Grants.gov by 5:00pm EST on Thursday March 25, 2021 (for FY21 projects) and Thursday March 24, 2022 (for FY22 projects).
Additional Funding Available
Congress recently passed its fourth round of emergency relief to help farmers, small businesses, health care professionals, households and communities across the country combat the worsening impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Included in this package was an additional $40 million specifically to provide critical resources to new and beginning farmers through BFRDP. This funding is in addition to the funding Congress provided in the Farm Bill, totaling $17.5 million for FY 2021 and $20 million for FY 2022.
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