BFRDP Projects

Building On-Farm Success: Resources and Training for Montana`s Beginning Farmers and Ranchers
[Final Report]

Award Amount: $299,946
Grant Program: 2014 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Annie Heuscher
Organization: Community Food & Agriculture Coalition


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

Montana's farmers are under significant climatic and market pressure to create success from limited resources and opportunities. However, with new partnerships developing across the state to assist beginning farmers and ranchers (BFRs), support for start-ups is poised to be greater than ever before. This project has prepared BFRs to take advantage of this expanded support and enhance on-farm success by providing them with the variety of business, production, financial, and networking resources they need.

Over the past three years, our network has offered 96 workshops and field days for BFRs focusing on business and production topics, reaching 1,335 participants over 2,500 hours. Of these participants, approximately 64% had limited resources and 20% considered themselves socially disadvantaged. Our state-specific online clearinghouse, has had almost 90,000 page views by over 14,500 users. The site includes more than 50 pages of business, legal, financial, marketing, and production planning resources, as well as tools to connect beginning farmers and ranchers with land, mentorship, and on-farm employment. We have connected five BFRs with community-based financing through Kiva loans with those farmers raising $33,600 altogether. Through these and other tools supported by this project, at least 52 new farms have been started in Montana.

These programs are tied together by a focus on developing collaborative partnerships with organizations from around the state. Together, our network has developed Montana-specific resources to increase use, by both producers and service providers, of the tools and strategies available to assist BFRs in making informed decisions for their operations. This project has created a sustainable platform to ensure a positive future for Montana's next generation of farmers. 

Number of Participants: 426


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