Hudson Valley, N.Y. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Chris Gibson today announced $574,150 in federal funding for the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC). This funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). The National Young Farmers Coalition will use the funding to help beginner farmers and ranchers across the country make informed financial decisions when purchasing land so they can build strong, sustainable farm businesses.
Specifically, NYFC will provide technical assistance to navigate land access options including long-term leases, land trust partnerships, mission-driven farmland investor opportunities, and traditional farm loans – through an interactive Land Affordability Calculator Tool. NYFC will also host a series of ten webinars and eight in-person trainings focusing on assessing and evaluating financial decisions.
“Now, more than ever, we must ensure that young and beginning farmers have the tools and knowledge they need to lay the groundwork for successful farms,” said Senator Schumer. “This funding will help plant the seeds of a long, prosperous future for the state’s agriculture industry. I’m proud to stand with New York’s farmers, and I’m committed to securing the resources they need to succeed.”
“This federal funding will help new farmers across the nation learn the skills they need to start and grow successful farms,” said Senator Gillibrand, the first New York Senator to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly 40 years. “The National Young Farmers Coalition will provide financial advice and learning opportunities for aspiring farmers to begin or build their operations. The NYFC will help new farmers build strong financial foundations in the Hudson Valley, where NYFC is based, and throughout all of New York. I’ll continue to fight for investments like this one to help make sure New York agriculture continues to thrive and be an economic anchor in our state.”
“As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I have been proud to partner with the National Young Farmers Coalition to protect the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program and advocate for legislation that will bring more people into agriculture,” said Congressman Gibson. “As the majority of our farmers near retirement, we will need at least 100,000 new farmers to take their place. I am delighted the NYFC has secured this grant to help us reach that goal, safeguarding the rural landscape and economy and providing Americans with the food and fiber we need to be a self-reliant nation.”
“The National Young Farmers Coalition is thrilled to receive funding through the USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. This funding will enable NYFC to deliver critically needed financial decision making tools and training to farmers to help them navigate the land access process. With more than two-thirds of privately-held U.S. farmland changing hands in the next two decades and farmers over 65 outnumbering farmers under 35 by six-to-one, now is the time to ensure that the next generation of farmers have the tools and resources they need to gain access to land and establish strong, sustainable farm businesses,” said Lindsey Lusher Shute, NYFC’s Executive Director.
USDA will provide funding for 37 projects across 27 states and the District of Columbia totaling $17.8 million. The National Young Farmers Coalition is one of two New York State recipients of funding for BFRDP.
The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program was first established by the 2008 Farm Bill and continued in 2014. The program provides support to those who have farmed or ranched for less than ten years. BFRDP supports educational programs to assist beginner farmers and ranchers who have less than ten years of experience in the industry, including veterans and socially disadvantaged farmers. The program supports workshops, educational teams, training, and technical assistance throughout the United States.