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Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

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


Additional Support

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


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. Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors are also required to wear a face covering during their appointment. You can learn the status of your service center through the Service Center Status Map. Learn more at

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

Visit the Risk Management Agency website to find a regional or compliance office or to find an insurance agent near you.