It is also important to note that the outcomes are commonly saving new farmers from negative outcomes, with a notable share of participants reporting that what they learned led them to exit from farming and thereby helping them to avoid investment losses in time and capital. Finally, these programs are helping Extension and community professionals to reach a fairly diverse set of project participants.
The changing attitudes toward food and farming has seemingly affected the types of strategies that beginning farmers are using to gain momentum. The articles by Zimmel and Wilcox, and Meyer and his co-authors, describe three such projects from Missouri, Kentucky and Colorado. These articles focus on the types of tools, educational models and content needed in new Extension programs targeted at bridging the experience gap for agricultural producers who are new to the agricultural sector.
For More Information
Start2Farm.gov. (2011). Available at: http://Start2Farm.gov.
USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. (2011). Available at: http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/bfrdp/bfrdp.html
Dawn Thilmany is Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
Suresh Sureshwaran is a National Program Leader for the Small Business Innovation Research Grants program and is responsible for the following topic areas: Markets and Trade, Rural Development, and Food and Nutrition.
© 1999-2011 Choices. All rights reserved.
Source: the FarmDocDaily