To institutionalize support for beginning
farmers and ranchers and to build upon prior agency work, the
2018 Farm Bill directed USDA to create a national coordinator
position in the agency and state-level coordinators for four of
its agencies – Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources
Conservation Service (NRCS), Risk Management Agency (RMA), and
Rural Development (RD).
Sarah Campbell was selected as the national coordinator to lead
USDA’s efforts. A beginning farmer herself, Campbell held
previous positions with USDA and has a wealth of experience
working on issues impacting beginning farmers and ranchers. She
recently served as acting director of customer experience for
the Farm Production and Conservation Business Center, where she
led the piloting of innovative, customer-centric initiatives.
In her new role, she will work closely with the state
coordinators to develop goals and create plans to increase
beginning farmer participation and access to programs while
coordinating nationwide efforts on beginning farmers and
Each state coordinator will receive training and develop
tailored beginning farmer outreach plans for their state.
Coordinators will help field employees better reach and serve
beginning farmers and ranchers and will also be available to
assist beginning farmers who need help navigating the variety of
resources USDA has to offer.
More on Beginning Farmers
Twenty seven percent of farmers were categorized as new and
beginning producers, with 10 years or less of experience in
agriculture, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture.
USDA offers a variety of farm loan, risk management, disaster
assistance, and conservation programs to support farmers,
including beginning farmers and ranchers. Additionally, a number
of these programs have provisions specifically for beginning
farmers, including targeted funding for loans and conservation
programs as well as waivers and exemptions.
Learn more about USDA’s resources for beginning farmers as well
as more information on the national and state-level coordinators
at newfarmers.usda.gov and farmers.gov. For more information on
available programs in your area, contact your local USDA service
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