Starting a farm is difficult, and succeeding beyond the first few years may be even more so. Beginning farmers and ranchers nation-wide face unique challenges to achieve their farm goals and aspirations. The Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Project is a new, collaborative effort that reaches across Virginia to improve educational opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers to establish and sustain viable agricultural operations. Unique to this project is its community-based participatory framework where a coalition of organizations collaboratively supports beginning farmers and ranchers through whole farm planning outreach and education, online resources and tools, and farmer-to-farmer mentoring.
Developing farmer mentor and social networking opportunities are also key project aims to help farmers gain vital skills, information, technical assistance, and business capacity for long-term agricultural viability. See Virginia Tech News Release.
Former Farm Mentor Coordinator, Kelli Scott, talks about the Mentor Network. Kelli is now employed by Virginia Cooperative Extension, working in Montgomery County with Agricultural and Natural Resource clients.
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The Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Project is sponsored through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) of the USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Award # 2010-49400-21720.
Exciting new article by Commissioner Matt Lohr, Turning a Childhood Fascination with Farming into a Career.
WFP for New Wineries & Vineyards
WFP in Southwest Virginia
Beginning Farmer Support on the Blue Ridge Plateau
Let's get the conversation started, check out our new blog, Virginia Beginning Farmer Connection
Thad Montgomery with Double M Dairy continues his family's dairy operation in Franklin County, VA. >> More
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