Are you new to farming or ranching? USDA can help you get started or grow your farming operation through a variety of programs and services. From farm loans to crop insurance, and conservation programs to disaster assistance, USDA is here to support you and your operation.
While many of our programs support all farmers, regardless of how long they have been farming, we also offer special provisions just for beginning farmers and ranchers. USDA considers anyone who has operated a farm or ranch for less than ten years to be a beginning farmer or rancher.
If you fit this category, you’re not alone. Twenty seven percent of farmers were categorized as new and beginning producers, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture.
USDA Programs and Services
USDA offers a variety of farm loan, risk management, disaster assistance, and conservation programs to support farmers, including beginning new farmers.
USDA also has several special provisions and resources for beginning farmers, including:
- Targeted funding through farm loans
- Crop insurance benefits
- Conservation program benefits
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
You may be eligible for funding through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, even if you’ve never worked with USDA before. See the list of crops and learn how to self-certify for assistance.
- Aug 11, 2020 News Release: USDA Announces More Eligible Commodities for CFAP
- July 9, 2020 News Release: Additional Commodities Now Eligible for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
Help with the CFAP Application
A CFAP Call Center is available for producers who would like additional one-on-one support with the CFAP application process. Please call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. The CFAP Call Center can also provide service to non-English speaking customers.
The 2018 Farm Bill directed USDA to stand up a new team to focus on serving beginning farmers and ranchers. This team is composed of staff representing four USDA agencies – Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Risk Management Agency, and Rural Development. Learn more at farmers.gov/newfarmers/coordinators
Find Your Local Service Center
We are committed to delivering USDA services to America’s farmers and ranchers while taking safety measures in response to COVID-19. While employees continue to staff our Service Centers, some are only available for phone appointments at this time. You can learn the status of your service center through this tool. Learn more at farmers.gov/coronavirus.
USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Rural Development employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county below to ﬁnd your local service center and agency offices. If this locator does not work in your browser, please visit offices.usda.gov.
Visit the Risk Management Agency website to ﬁnd a regional or compliance office or to ﬁnd an insurance agent near you.