Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

32 Pages Posted: 21 May 2009

See all articles by Mary Clare Ahearn

Mary Clare Ahearn

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Doris J. Newton

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Date Written: May 1, 2009

Abstract

USDA defines beginning farmers and ranchers as those who have operated a farm or ranch for 10 years or less either as a sole operator or with others who have operated a farm or ranch for 10 years or less. Beginning farmers tend to be younger than established farmers and to operate smaller farms or ranches, some of which may provide no annual production. Beginning farmers often face obstacles getting started, including high startup costs and limited availability of land. USDA - through the Farm Service Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service provides loans and conservation assistance to beginning farmers and ranchers. This report draws on data from annual surveys and the Census of Agriculture to provide policymakers with a better understanding of beginning farmers and ranchers, including how they contribute to U.S. agricultural production.

Keywords: agricultural production, Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS), beginning farmers and ranchers, Census of Agriculture, farm assets, Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, Conservation Reserve Program, operator characteristics

Suggested Citation

Ahearn, Mary and Newton, Doris J., Beginning Farmers and Ranchers (May 1, 2009). Economic Information Bulletin No. 53, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1408234 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1408234

Mary Ahearn (Contact Author)

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States
202-694-5583 (Phone)
202-694-5774 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ers.usda.gov/AboutERS/Bios/view.asp?ID=mahearn

Doris J. Newton

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States
(202) 694-5619 (Phone)

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