As of October 1st, funding for the most important federal program to train the next generation of American farmers ran dry. If Congress doesn't act quickly when it returns in November, this program, and the invaluable support it gives, could disappear forever.
In 2012 alone, the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program funded forty training programs that provided new farmers the business and technical skills that they need to build successful, independent farms. Don't let programs like these fall by the wayside – we need to protect the BFRDP!
With an unprecedented number of American farmers expected to retire in the next twenty years, the nation needs this federal program – and the thousands of new farmers it supports.
We need Congress to continue funding for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program in any Farm Bill extension that they pass, and to fund this program at $25 million a year in the next Farm Bill.
We also need to support historically underrepresented farmers with funding set-asides and to keep grant-matching requirements at 25%, enabling participation by community based organizations. Sign now - don't let this vital program be lost forever.
By signing this petition, you will help ensure programs like these continue to serve the beginning farmers of America:
- Creating Beginning Farmer Opportunities in Farm Worker Communities in Salinas, CA
- Preparing A New Generation of Illinois Fruit and Vegetable Farmers, in Urbana, IL
- Growing New Women Farmers in Iowa and Nebraska Through Networking, Mentorships, and Business Planning, in Story City, IA
- Lansing Roots: Beginning Farmer Training Program, in Lansing, MI
- Developing a Solid Foundation for Imigrant Farm Workers Transitioning to Farm Operations, in WA
Read the entire list of 40 programs here.
National Young Farmers' Coalition started this petition with a single signature, and won with 5,320 supporters. Start a petition to change something you care about.