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University of Minnesota Extension

New federal funding broadens resources for beginning farmers

Warehouse scene with a bin of tomatoes and shelves of tomatoes, and a farmer stands behind it with cardboard boxes

Beginning farmers nationwide will have access to an ever-growing amount of resources thanks to a new federal grant awarded to the University of Minnesota.

The $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture goes to the University’s Center for Farm Financial Management (CFFM) to support its clearinghouse of information geared toward new farmers.

The clearinghouse currently houses nearly 6,000 research-based items, including videos and articles on its site, farmanswers.org.

“There have always been many challenges involved when a person or family wants to get started in farming. Thanks to this funding, the University is strengthening the resources we can offer with partners across the country to help in decision making,” said CFFM director Kevin Klair, an Extension economist. “This grant helps make one-stop shopping for information all the easier.”

The newest additions to the clearinghouse are a podcast hosted by former Extension educator Betty Berning of Albertville, Minn. Topics have included conversations about supporting veterans who want to begin farming, Latino ag programming and food sovereignty efforts with the Sicangu Lakota Tribe in the
Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

CFFM has applied for and received USDA funding to aid new farmers since 2014.

“Investing in the professional development of our nation’s newest farmers and ranchers will help our food and agriculture sectors to flourish from the ground up,” said Chavonda Jacobs-Young, USDA’s chief scientist. “Strengthening and growing our next-generation pipeline is vital to the continued success of
American agriculture and prosperity of rural communities.”

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