BFRDP Projects

[Progress Report]

Award Amount: $669,796
Grant Program: 2015 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Julia Freedgood
Organization: American Farmland Trust


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

According to USDA’s 2012 Census of Agriculture, the number of beginning farmers and ranchers (BFRs) reached a 30-year low in 2012 – down 20 percent in just five years. One key reason for the decline is finding, affording and securing appropriate land to purchase or rent. More than 40 percent of U.S. agricultural land is owned by principal operators and principal landlords over age 65 years . While this land is likely to change hands in the next 20 years, according to the 2014 Tenure, Ownership, and Transition of Agricultural Land Survey (TOTAL), agricultural landowners only plan to transfer about 10% of their land in the next five, mostly through gifts or trusts. Only about 2 percent is projected to be sold on the open market.

The future of American agriculture hinges on the successful transfer of farm and ranch land to the next generation. While many resources are available to support BFRs in production, marketing, and business planning, relatively few exist to help BFRs gain access to land. Farmland for the Next Generation is filling this gap. Its goal is to help BFRs secure land tenure from retiring producers as well as institutional and non-operating landowners. So far, we have evaluated existing curricula and resources, drafted a curriculum map, course outcome summary and comprehensive curriculum to meet the needs of diverse populations, regions, and agricultural systems. We selected 25 Land Access Trainers (LATs) through an open and competitive application process who will work with us to pilot the curriculum with 500 BFRs, help evaluate, validate and ultimately extend to other trainers.  We delivered a first training on the curriculum to the LATs. Based on their feedback and input from our Educational Enhancement, we revised and refined the draft curriculum for the LATs to pilot with 500 BFRs in Year 3. 

Number of Participants: 40


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