Start2Farmupdated: January 2015

What is Start2Farm? is a database of programs and resources for beginning farmers and ranchers in the United States.

The Start2Farm site and program are a project of the National Agricultural Library in partnership with the American Farm Bureau Federation. Start2Farm is funded through a USDA, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Beginning Farming and Ranching Development Program grant and was developed to assist people new to farming or ranching and those who have less than 10 years experience.

Legislative authority and background for the Start2Farm clearinghouse include Section 7405(e) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 3319f(e)) (Pub. L. 107-171), as amended by section 7410 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-246), otherwise known as the 2008 Farm Bill, which requires the Secretary to establish an online clearinghouse that makes available to beginning farmers or ranchers education curricula and training materials and programs.

What is the purpose of Start2Farm?

The Start2Farm database serves as a one-stop reference for anyone looking for programs and resources to start farming and to be successful in their first years as a farmer or rancher. does not provide training or funding, instead it functions as an information service to help aspiring farmers and ranchers easily find the programs and resources available to them.

The Start2Farm Together program organizes events for beginning farmer and rancher educators and service providers to help them share resources and best practices. To learn more about this service please visit the Start2Farm Together pages.

What will I find on 

Start2Farm includes programs and resources from federal and state agencies, educational institutions and non-governmental organizations including grassroots organizations.

There are four types of services we identify for you at Start2Farm:

  • Training – includes programs and resources that teach any aspect of being a successful farmer or rancher.
  • Financing – includes loan programs, development accounts, grants and other programs to help farmers and ranchers finance their enterprise. Please note: There are generally not any grants to start a farm or ranch and no new direct funding programs associated with the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program that the Start2Farm clearinghouse is a part of. Start2Farm is not a lender.
  • Technical Assistance – includes identified programs in your location to assist with topics such as business planning, land transfer, licensing and regulations, alternative energy technologies, and farming techniques, among others.
  • Networking – this includes information on programs and organizations that provide farmers and ranchers with opportunities to exchange ideas and find farmer-to-farmer support.

More information about what type of content is included in Start2Farm and the criteria used to determine what external content is appropriate for referrals has been detailed in our policy documents.


Contact Start2Farm

National Agricultural Library, USDA
10301 Baltimore Avenue
Beltsville, Maryland  20705
Phone: 301-504-5755
Fax: 301-504-7042


Service Area

National Program

Office Locaters

To request additions or corrections to this entry email the Administrator