Who Are Beginning Farmers?
The USDA defines beginning farmers as those with less than 10 years experience. These new farmers are a very diverse group. The Growing New Farmers project suggests they fall into the following catetories:
- recruits (people with an aptitude or interest in farming who have not considered it as a career option);
- explorers (actively researching farming as a career option);
- aspiring farmers (committed to becoming farmers but haven’t started commercially);
- startup farmers (in their first few years of commercial production, generally years 1-3);
- re-strategizing farmers (in their first few years and now reassessing their operation, generally years 4-7); and
- establishing farmers (stabilizing their production and marketing, generally years 8-10).
Programs and services are most effective when new farmers access services that are oriented to the stage of farm development they are currently in.
Last modified January 03 2011 11:51 AM