Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Programupdated: October 2015

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) is administered by the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) of the USDA. It was authorized in the 2008 Food, Conservation, and Energy Act (Pub .L. No. 110-234, Section 7410,) amending Section 7405 of the previous Farm Bill. The purpose and priorities for the BFRDP are “to provide U.S. beginning farmer and rancher producers and their families, as appropriate, with the knowledge, skills and tools needed to make informed decisions for their operations, with the goal of enhancing success of beginning farmers and ranchers.”

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program was first established by the 2008 Farm Bill and was continued in the 2014 Farm Bill. The program provides support to those who have farmed or ranched for less than 10 years. NIFA awards grants to organizations throughout the United States that implement programs to train beginning farmers and ranchers, which may take place through workshops, educational teams, training, or technical assistance.

The 2014 Farm Bill mandated that at least five percent of BFRDP funding must support veterans and socially disadvantaged farmers. This year, more than 15 percent of the funded projects have a substantial component that supports veterans and farming, while about 50 percent of the projects focus mainly on socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.

Awards will be made through a competitive grants process, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

The RFA will be posted online as soon as it's available. All applications for funding must be submitted electronically through This process requires pre-registration which can take up to one month. We encourage all potential applicants to begin the registration process as soon as possible.

Contact Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program

Jill Auburn, PhD
National Program Leader - Division of Agricultural Systems
United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue SW, Stop 2201
Washington, DC  20250-2201
Phone: (202) 720-2635


Service Area

National Program

Office Locaters

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