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Missouri cultivates future farmers with $676K grant
Missouri Ag Connection - 11/29/2023

The University of Missouri has been awarded a $676,784 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to support the development of beginning farmers and ranchers in the metropolitan St. Louis region.

This three-year grant is part of NIFA's Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP), which aims to provide education, mentoring, and technical assistance to individuals interested in pursuing careers in agriculture. The program specifically targets veterans transitioning to civilian life and those seeking to establish new farming enterprises.

Approximately one-third of the nation's 3.4 million farmers are over the age of 65, highlighting the need for a new generation of agricultural producers. The BFRDP seeks to address this challenge by equipping aspiring farmers and ranchers with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the industry.

Key Program Objectives

• Provide professional development in areas such as capital management, land acquisition, and business and farming practices.

• Offer educational workshops, mentoring opportunities, and tours of established farming operations.

• Collaborate with organizations like Lincoln University's Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program, the University of Missouri Center for Regenerative Agriculture, and the USDA St. Louis Urban Hub to expand program reach and impact.

The University of Missouri's commitment to nurturing the next generation of agricultural leaders aligns with the USDA's vision of a vibrant and sustainable agricultural future for the United States. By equipping individuals with the tools and resources they need to succeed in farming, the BFRDP plays a crucial role in ensuring the continuity of agricultural production and the preservation of rural livelihoods.

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