A publication of AAEA

A publication of AAEA
Addressing the Challenges of Entry into Farming

Addressing the Challenges of Entry into Farming

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Theme Overview: Addressing the Challenges of Entry into Farming

Mary Clare Ahearn

The number and share of farmers beginning careers in farming has been declining for decades, contributing to the advancing age of the current farmer population. This theme of articles presents some current and policy solutions to addressing the well-known challenges of entering farming, including training and access to farmland.

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program – Accomplishments in the Making

Jill S. Auburn, Denis Ebodaghe, Desiree K. Rucker-Ross and Wesley R. Dean

USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) funds organizations to provide education and assistance to farmers and ranchers in their first ten years of operation and who aspire to enter farming and ranching. BFRDP has funded 256 awards in all 50 states since the program began in 2009.

Off-farm Income: Managing Risk in Young and Beginning Farmer Households

Heidi J. Bubela

Young and beginning farm households benefit from the continued trend of increasing off-farm income. The agricultural boom created opportunity to bring young people back to the farm. As record farm profits fade, the role of off-farm income as a risk management tool in these households will only grow.

Beginning Farmer Credit and the Farm Service Agency’s Role

Charles B. Dodson and Bruce L. Ahrendsen

Though beginning farmers were present on over 20% of U.S. farms in 2014, fewer than half reported any debt. While most farms with debt received credit entirely from commercial lenders, USDA’s Farm Service Agency was an important credit source. One-in-seven indebted farms with a beginning farmer had an FSA loan.

Beginning Farmer Policy Options for the Next Farm Bill

Juli Obudzinski

Over the last decade, policymakers have begun addressing some of the challenges faced by beginning farmers; an important step toward developing a more sustainable food system. As the 2018 Farm Bill approaches, Congress can make even greater strides by tackling long-standing issues such as access to land and capital.