We Are Rural: Family Farming and Ranching

Farming and ranching is more than an occupation. It is a passion, a way of life for most. In 2013, your support allowed us to expand efforts to establish new farmers and give them a real chance to succeed.

With your help, we launched a training program for Latino farmers in conjunction with University of Missouri. Fifteen Latino farmers visited farms, learned to build business plans for loan applications, and met financial and community resource providers. We also provided small-farm business and natural resource instruction to a dozen students and ag instructors at Little Priest Tribal College.

We placed six women as interns with experienced women farmers. Another group of women beginning farmer interns will be placed with a new crew of farmer-mentors in 2014.

The number of women who own farmland is on the rise. They have expressed a desire to learn more about conservation and to be respected for the decisions they make on their land. We lent a hand on both fronts in several workshops on conservation planning for women landowners.

Previous experience helping veterans to start farming led a military base in Missouri to ask us for advice on providing farm career training to military veterans. Veteran and farmer Dan Hromas turned to us for help with a new pastured poultry operation in York, Nebraska. He used the resources we suggested for land, financing, and information. His hens are impeccably cared for; Dan is an expert on humanely raised hens.

Annual Report Family Farming & Ranching 2013 Highlights:

  • Our expertise now draws over 14,000 beginners to our website each month. We corresponded with 280 beginners throughout the year.
  • Marine veteran and new farmer Garrett Dwyer taped our first public service announcement for beginning farmer support. It aired on radio stations across Nebraska.
  • Latino farmers learned about farm finances and attended 10 tours (from dairy to vegetables). Nine talked with USDA about their first farm loans.
  • “Farm Dreams” workshops attracted passionate and driven Women Beginning Farmers eager to launch new farms.

You'll find the Center's full 2013 Annual Report here (pdf).

Feature photo: Latino farmers in Nebraska tour Garcia Farms to see a diversified operation firsthand. Your support allows us to engage new and old farmers, to promote conservation and opportunity on the ground and in public policy. Photo by Wyatt Fraas