For many farmers and ranchers, this past year has been a roller coaster — from dealing with the pandemic to the current market rally — this has been a historic year for everyone involved in the agriculture industry. However, those new the the industry have had to overcome many obstacles this past year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a virtual listening session for beginning farmers and ranchers to learn how COVID-19 impacted their farming operations and to get their feedback on USDA assistance.
The listening session will take place tomorrow, May 6, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. The USDA considers anyone who has operated a farm or ranch for less than ten years to be a beginning farmer or rancher.
“We invite beginning farmers and ranchers to share their experiences in navigating the USDA’s resources for assistance after the pandemic,” said Gloria Montaño Greene, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation.
“We need to understand what worked well and where we can improve, while deepening our understanding of how farmers were affected by the pandemic and how they are modifying their operations,” said Mae Wu, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.
Montaño Greene and Wu will be joined by Zach Ducheneaux, the USDA’s Farm Service Agency Administrator, and Sarah Campbell, the USDA’s National Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coordinator during the listening session.
This feedback will inform the USDA preparations for outreach strategies, programmatic needs, technical assistance, and accessible program delivery for beginning farmers and ranchers through Pandemic Assistance for Producers.
The event will be held via Zoom. To register and attend, visit the Farmers.gov New Farmers webpage. Registrants have the optional opportunity to provide written feedback.
Beginning farmers and ranchers can received advice and guidance, access to capital, and conservation, insurance and disaster assistance when they work with the USDA.