Harden announces $5.6 billion in USDA commitments for next-generation farmers

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden announced yesterday a commitment of $5.6 billion of USDA programs and services focused on new and beginning farmers and ranchers over the next two years.

“Today’s announcement is symbolic of the evolution of USDA’s efforts to better serve the next generation of farmers and ranchers. What began seven years ago with the recognition that the rapid aging of the American farmer was an emerging challenge, has transformed into a robust, transparent, tech-based strategy to recruit the farmers of the future,” Harden said. “No matter where you’re from, no matter what you look like, no matter your background, we want USDA to be the first stop for anyone who is looking to be a part of the story and legacy of American agriculture.”

An online tool will also be developed to connect flourishing farm entrepreneurs to start their farm businesses. The USDA designed the website based on feedback from new farmers and ranchers around the country and features personalized advice on everything from writing a business plan, to obtaining a loan and filing taxes as a small business owner.

Data shows that the average American farmer is 58 years old, and it is expected that 10 percent of continental United States farmland will change hands within the next five years.

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United States Department of Agriculture

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