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A man and woman beginning farmers in a field.

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP)

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program provides grants to organizations for education, mentoring and technical assistance initiatives for beginning farmers and ranchers.

According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Ag Census data, one-third of the United States’ 3.4 million farmers are over the age of 65. Ensuring there will be a “new generation” of beginning farmers and ranchers – regardless of age or production choice – is essential to the continuation of agricultural production in the United States. Beginning farmers and ranchers have unique educational, training, technical assistance and outreach needs. Access to capital, land and knowledge that assists in ensuring profitability and sustainability are vital to farmers and ranchers in their first ten years of operation.

Program Information

The primary goal of BFRDP, under assistance listing number 10.311, is to help beginning farmers and ranchers in the United States and its territories enter and/or improve their successes in farming, ranching and management of nonindustrial private forest lands, through support for projects that provide education, mentoring and technical assistance to give beginning farmers and ranchers the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to make informed decisions for their operations and enhance their sustainability. The term “farmer” is used in the broadest sense and may be interpreted to include agricultural farmers, ranchers and non-industrial private forest owners and managers. The term "beginning farmer or rancher" means a person who:

  • Has not operated a farm or ranch.
  • Has operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10 years.
  • Meets such other criteria as the Secretary may establish.

BFRDP Funding Opportunity Page

Sign up for Alerts

The best way to stay updated about NIFA’s BFRDP funding opportunities is to register for alerts. These email alerts will notify you when BFRDP Requests for Applications (RFAs) are released.

  • If you don’t have a account, register for free. Tip: you don’t need a full profile to sign up for alerts.
  • Once you’re registered and logged in, go to Subscribe to Saved Searches.
  • Add a Saved Search. Enter “10.311” in the CFDA input field under Basic Search Criteria. Click Save to continue.
  • Your saved search subscription will now be listed under “My Saved Opportunity Searches.” To unsubscribe, delete the Saved Search from your profile.

You will begin receiving email notices from “” sometime after midnight of the day the RFA is posted. Add that email address to your address book to ensure delivery in your inbox.

Program type
Grant Program

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