Webinars planned for beginning farmers

Staff reports

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will present two webinars for beginning farmers in March. The webinars are free; however, pre-registration is required to get a link to each webinar. Please register by emailing lynnette.wright@usda.gov.

If you need an accommodation to participate in one of these webinars, please contact Lynnette Wright at 315-477-6309 or by e-mail at least one day prior to the event. You may also contact Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

The webinars are:

• USDA Resources for Beginning Farmers in New York State: USDA’s Beginning Farmer Team in New York will offer this webinar on March 4 from noon to 2 p.m.

• Understanding Eligibility Requirements for NRCS and FSA Programs: USDA’s Urban Agriculture Team in New York will offer this webinar for urban producers on March 24 from noon to 1 p.m. The webinar will be useful to all beginning farmers.

According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, 27% of farmers were categorized as new and beginning producers, which means they have 10 years or less of experience operating a farm or ranch. To institutionalize support for beginning farmers and ranchers and to build upon prior agency work, the 2018 Farm Bill directed USDA to create a national coordinator position in the agency and state-level teams for four of its agencies – Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Risk Management Agency (RMA), and Rural Development (RD).

Feel free to reach out to the Beginning Farmer Team for additional questions. The New York team consists of:

Lynnette Wright – FSA – Lynnette.wright@usda.gov

Suzanne Baker – NRCS – Suzanne.baker@usda.gov

Bill Ferris – RMA – William.ferris@usda.gov

Joseph Heller – Urban Conservationist - Joseph.heller@usda.gov

USDA offers a variety of farm loan, risk management, disaster assistance, and conservation programs to support farmers, including beginning farmers and ranchers. Additionally, a number of these programs have provisions specifically for beginning farmers, including targeted funding for loans and conservation programs as well as waivers and exemptions. Learn more about USDA’s resources for beginning farmers at farmers.gov/newfarmers. Additionally, find information on urban agriculture programs at farmers.gov/urban.