Here at CFAC, we understand that the road to success as a farmer can be a long and arduous one. Start-up costs are high, access to land can be a deal-breaker, and well, then, there are the hours! Of course, farming has plenty of benefits too - you get to work outside with your hands in the dirt and the sun, you work for yourself, and, as one of our past board members, Erin Turner, has said, "You never complain about not being able to sleep well!"
We believe that if our food system is to be strong and resilient, we need to support beginning farmers and ranchers, to help them over the hump of the first few years to build sustainable, successful business models. There are some key ways in which we can help, by providing:
In late 2014, the USDA awarded CFAC over $250k to expand our educational opportunities and resources for beginning farmers. This is the first time the highly competitive federal Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program grant has been awarded for work in Montana!
Through this project, our support for farmers will take on several new forms. We will:
We're also exploring ideas for providing networking opportunities. Some of the ideas we're tossing around include starting a National Young Farmers Coalition chapter, kickstarting a Grange-type social organization, or hosting speed dating sessions for Land Link members.
Interested in learning more about these projects and throwing your two cents in? Join our Beginning Farmer & Rancher Committee! Just want to stay posted? Join our newsletter or like us on Facebook! We post lots of resources and news for farmers on Facebook!