The Purpose

Provide information for organizations assisting America’s new farmers.

Examine innovative policies to support America’s new farmers.

Develop new funding sources for organizations assisting new farmers.

Third Drake Forum on America’s New Farmers

Forum Resources

News and Updates

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  • Farm Bill Addresses Veteran Farmers
    Farm Bill Addresses Veteran Farmers

    Farm Bill Addresses Veteran Farmers

    Posted by Ed Cox on Feb 10, 2014

    The 2014 Farm Bill contains a number of provisions that continue assistance for beginning farmers, but for the first time the Farm Bill includes language specifically for "Veteran Farmers." The law defines veteran farmers in the same manner as beginning ...
  • USDA Microloan Program Finalized
    USDA Microloan Program Finalized

    USDA Microloan Program Finalized

    Posted by Ed Cox on Jan 25, 2013

    The USDA has finalized rules for its new farmer and rancher Microloan program. The program Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a new microloan program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designed to help small and family operations, beginning and ...
  • New Report On Increasing Local Food Markets
    New Report On Increasing Local Food Markets

    New Report On Increasing Local Food Markets

    Posted by Ed Cox on Dec 17, 2012

    A new report, issued by American Farmland Trust (AFT) and the University of Washington, provides insight into how to promote greater consumption of local goods in Western Washington. The findings reveal useful information for other parts of the country and ...
  • Stone Barns Center Launches Virtual Grange Hall
    Stone Barns Center Launches Virtual Grange Hall

    Stone Barns Center Launches Virtual Grange Hall

    Posted by Ed Cox on Dec 12, 2012

    Farmers have long relied on sharing information to improve production and adjust to changing circumstances. The Stone Barns Center has launched a Virtual Grange Hall that allows new and beginning farmers to exchange information through an online forum. The forum divides ...
  • Farm Credit Issues Guidance on Credit for Local Food Farmers
    Farm Credit Issues Guidance on Credit for Local Food Farmers

    Farm Credit Issues Guidance on Credit for Local Food Farmers

    Posted by Ed Cox on Oct 29, 2012

    Farm Credit Administration recently released FCS Bookletter 066 to Farm Credit System (FCS) associations that details how to effectively meet the credit and related services needs of farmers selling through local markets. The information contained is useful not only for FCS associations ...
  • New Farmer’s Guide from Davis Farmers Market Association
    New Farmer’s Guide from Davis Farmers Market Association

    New Farmer's Guide from Davis Farmers Market Association

    Posted by Ed Cox on Oct 26, 2012

    The Davis Farmers Market Association just released the "New Farmer's Guide: Cultivating Success at Farmers Markets."  Supported by the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program, the guide introduces the benefits of farmers markets and provides practical insight into marketing, promotions, and ...
  • From Farm Credit Services on Vimeo
    From Farm Credit Services on Vimeo

    Farm Credit Regulations Add Diversity and Inclusion Requirement

    Posted by Ed Cox on Aug 15, 2012

    The Farm Credit Administration has taken steps to ensure lending institutions assist a diverse array of farmers and ranchers. Bob Heuer, writer and former Farm Credit Service consultant, recently published two articles at Civil Eats describing a new regulation adopted by ...
  • NPR Covers Local Meat Processors
    NPR Covers Local Meat Processors

    NPR Covers Local Meat Processors

    Posted by Ed Cox on Jun 5, 2012

    A recent NPR article addresses the decrease in local slaughterhouses, causing many direct farm marketers to send livestock perhaps hundreds of miles to be processed. "[W]hile that steak those 'locavores' just bought at the farmers' market may have come from a cow ...

Funding Prototypes

The New Farmer Fund

The New Farmer Fund uses a sustainable, market-based approach to fund organizations assisting new farmers. Consumers purchase products with New Farmer Fund labels, and a portion of the purchase price is then used by Partner organizations to help finance new farmers, primarily through Individual Development Accounts (IDAs).

FarmStarter

FarmStarter is a prototype microlending program designed to provide loans to farmers who lack access to traditional means of credit. Farmers sign up with Partner organizations in their state or region, submit their stories to FarmStarter, and receive funds from people looking to invest in America’s new farmers. The public is able to peruse the FarmStarter website and select farms based on farm methods, products, or location.

The Forum

The information on this site is primarily geared toward assisting the organizations supporting new and beginning farmers.  It is the goal of this resource to promote new farmers engaging in a diverse array of agricultural endeavors by providing reference material on the various methods for assisting new farmers and corresponding legal issues and government programs.

While new farmers will probably find the information here of value, there are additional directories designed to help new farmers locate information, including Start2Farm.gov and BeginningFarmers.org.

New Farmer Issues

Search Issues By:

Access to Capital Type of Farm Enteprise
Access to Land Farmer Demographic
Access to Markets Location
Access to Knowledge