BFRDP Projects

Enhancing On-Farm Success: Building a Sustainable Platform for Beginning Farmer Support
[Progress Report]

Award Amount: $523,355
Grant Program: 2017 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Bonnie Buckingham
Organization: Community Food & Agriculture Coalition


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

Montana is a challenging place to start farming. A short growing season combined with long distances to small markets create a difficult environment for beginning farmers and ranchers (BFRs). Nonetheless, over the past four years of our work with BFRs, we have seen high levels of enthusiasm, commitment, and hard work towards starting agricultural operations. It is an exciting time to work with beginning farmers in Montana.
The goals of this project are two-fold: to increase the number of successful and sustainable beginning farmers and ranchers in Montana by providing an effective and comprehensive array of classroom-based, on-farm, and one-on-one training and technical assistance opportunities; and to increase the ability of those BFRs to succeed by enhancing existing resources and creating new, Montana-specific resources focused on targeted needs, including land access, financing, and a broader network of support services. 
We will achieve these goals through a coordinated set of workshops serving farmers throughout the first ten years of operation, technical assistance to complete business plans and access financing, and development of new financing tools and statewide resources through Farm Link Montana and a network of service providers. Ultimately, this project will not only increase the number of BFRs in Montana; it will give BFRs the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to make informed decisions for their operations. This project follows work funded by various USDA agencies, including BFRDP, and will enhance the networks and services those projects kickstarted and institutionalize these programs for long-term sustainability of BFR support in Montana.

Number of Participants: 334


Promotional Materials

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Educational Materials

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Reports & Evaluations

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Delivery Area

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Individual Stories / Examples of Success