New to farming? Want to learn how to start a farm? The USDA can and does offer additional assistance to beginning farmers and ranchers. The USDA considers anyone who has operated a farm or ranch for less than ten years to be a beginning farmer or rancher. The USDA can help you start or expand your operation through a variety of programs and services, from agricultural loans to crop insurance, and conservation programs to disaster relief.
Your first step should be to contact your USDA service center and schedule an appointment. Be sure to ask what documents you will need. Also consider – what is your vision for your land and farm? What are your challenges?
If you require information in a language other than English, we can provide free translation services.
Historically underserved farmers and herders
We offer help with the unique concerns of growers who meet the USDA’s definition of “historically underserved” – beginners, socially disadvantaged, resource constrained, and military veterans. Moreover, women in agriculture are helping to pave the way for a better future. Use this self-determination tool to determine if you are a producer of limited resources.
If you inherited land without a clear title or documented legal ownership, learn how the USDA can help landowners of heirs establish a farm number to access a variety of programs and services.
If you are a farmer with a disability, organizations like Agrability offer services that can help adapt and modify farm equipment to make it more accessible.
Watch Joshua Eilers, a beginning farmer and military veteran from Austin, TX, talk about his experience starting the cattle business with USDA support.
In addition to our agricultural programs, there are many leadership opportunities for beginning farmers to have their voices and experience heard. Through the USDA, you can take advantage of several key opportunities such as committee elections, research and advocacy programs, and federal advisory committees.
Learn more about how to communicate with your farming community
- Farmers.gov Blog: Beginner Farmers
- Have a question? AskUSDA
- Begin! A Guide to USDA Resources for Historically Underserved Farmers and Ranchers
- July 21, 2022: Awareness video – Agricultural and livestock businesses
- February 8, 2022: Tax Video Webinar – Losses and Claims: Related Income Tax Rules
- February 7, 2022: Tax Video Webinar – Weather-Related Livestock Sales: Income Tax Management Issues
- May 6, 2021: Listening session on the impacts of Covid-19 on new farmers
- May 4, 2021 Press Release: USDA Announces Listening Session on Impacts of COVID-19 on New Farmers
- November 9, 2020: Blog: USDA Service Centers provide free, one-on-one help to farmers
- October 1, 2020: Rural Energy Secured Loans and Grants for America (REAP)
- August 11, 2020 Press Release: USDA Announces More CFAP-Eligible Products
- Press release July 9, 2020: Additional products are now eligible for the coronavirus food aid program
- Blog April 24, 2020: Ask the Expert: Q&A for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers with Sarah Campbell
Find your local service center
We are committed to providing USDA services to U.S. farmers and ranchers while taking safety measures in response to the pandemic. Select USDA offices are beginning to reopen to limited visitors by appointment only. Service Center staff also continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email and other digital tools. Learn more at farmers.gov/coronavirus.
USDA Service Centers are places where you can contact agricultural service agency, natural resource 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.