BFRDP Projects

Creating and Sustaining Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Beginning Farmers and Ranchers
[Final Report]

Award Amount: $600,000
Grant Program: 2020 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: William Crutchfield
Organization: Virginia State University


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

The VSU BFRDP team has been successful in accomplishing the stated objectives of the project. The VSU Small Farm Outreach Program conducted over 2000 efforts during the 3- year life of the project. These efforts included one-on-one on-the-farm visits, tours, phone calls, emails, and Agricultural educational training workshops/events (in-person and online). Participants received information about farm business planning and financial management, risk management education, production and marketing methods/techniques, demonstrations and farm tours. All evaluated events rated at a 90% percentile and higher indication that participants gained knowledge about USDA and other state agricultural agencies resources that are available to them. Participants indicated that they gained knowledge on how to create a business plan; gained knowledge that will help them to make an informed decision; and plan to use in the information gained in the future to enhance their farm operation. 150 beginning and veteran farmers were recruited, 84 participants have started and are operating a farm business. Twenty-one (21) applicants received Cost Share from NRCS. 98 participants increased knowledge on accessing FSA and other loan programs; forty-eight (48) developed a business plan and Thirty-two (32) applied to FSA and other loan programs; eleven (11) gained farmland.

The New Farmer Orientation sessions provided participants with a step-by-step guide of the many resources that are available to them, as well as connecting them to their assigned small farm State Program Assistant, and their local USDA Agency. It also provided snapshots of what a business structure looks like and things to consider when starting a farm business. 

Workshops such as USDA Information Sessions, Estate Planning and Land Transition, Agribusiness Production & Financial Management allows participants an open forum where they can communicate directly with USDA and respective representatives and gain first-handed information about the resources they need to become successful farmers.

Our Small Farm Program Assistants (PA) will continue to provide outreach, training, technical assistance and provide producers with direct assistance when completing applications, providing hands-on guidance and education relating to their needs.


Number of Participants: 150


Promotional Materials

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Educational Materials

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Reports & Evaluations

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Delivery Area

Describe any unexpected results of the project:

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What were the keys to success for your participants?

Individual Stories / Examples of Success