Hoeven Announces New Support for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

Senator Pushed for Farm Bill Programs, New Centralized Online Resource to Support Next Generation of Farmers

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced the implementation of new Farm Bill measures and other policy changes to improve the financial security of new and beginning farmers and ranchers. Hoeven also announced www.usda.gov/newfarmers, a new website that will provide a centralized, one-stop resource where beginning farmers and ranchers can explore the variety of USDA initiatives designed to help them succeed.

As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and conferee on the joint conference committee that crafted the final Farm Bill, Hoeven has been a strong advocate for new and beginning farmers.

“In every generation, a group of young men and women take on the important responsibility of producing food, fiber and fuel for America and the world,” Hoeven said. “For that reason we worked to include programs and policies in the new Farm Bill that would help beginning farmers and ranchers during those difficult early years. The policy changes and new tools now available to young farmers will help secure the future of U.S. agriculture, which supports 16 million jobs and provides Americans with the highest quality, least expensive food supply in the world.” 

USDA’s new website, www.usda.gov/newfarmers, has in depth information for new farmers and ranchers, including: how to increase access to land and capital; build new market opportunities; participate in conservation opportunities; select and use the right risk management tools and access USDA education and technical support programs. These issues have been identified as top priorities by new farmers. The website will also feature instructive case studies about beginning farmers who have successfully utilized USDA resources to start or expand their business operations.

Today’s announcements in support of beginning farmers and ranchers include:

  • Enhanced access to beginning farmers or ranchers to enroll in the Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) for the 2014 crop year. 
  • Increased flexibility under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) for new and beginning farmers, which will allow routine, prescribed and emergency grazing outside the primary nesting season on enrolled land consistent with approved conservation plans. 
  • Enhanced support for beginning farmers and ranchers under Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP).

Additional support for new and beginning farmers and ranchers include increased lending and education and training program dollars. These policy announcements are made possible through the 2014 Farm Bill passed by Congress in February. For more information about the Farm Bill, click here.