Welcome to the Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Program

Starting a farm is difficult, and succeeding beyond the first few years may be even more so.   Beginning farmers and ranchers nation-wide face unique challenges to achieve their farm goals and aspirations.  The long-term goal of the Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Program (VBFRCP) is to improve opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers to establish and sustain viable agricultural operations and communities in Virginia.  To reach our goal, we support the development and enhancement of whole farm planning curriculum and training, online resources, social networking, and farmer mentoring.  Unique to this state-wide Extension program is its coalition of agricultural organizations and farm business that work together to develop and implement these programming aims.

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Program Brochure
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Program Flyer

During the spring and summer of 2015, members of the VBFRC interviewed the owners of five farms across Virginia to ask about their experiences and enterprises. Each farmer discussed how they got started in farming, their primary products and markets, labor practices, and a variety of other topics related to their farms. These conversations were recorded for the purpose of creating videos that will help beginning and established farmers and ranchers in Virginia learn more about other Virginia farmers while gaining valuable information about how different farms are operated. To view these videos, visit our YouTube channel.

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2016-17 Advisory Group Election

The Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition held an election this July to add two new members to the VBFRC advisory group. The advisory group consists of committed individuals from the Coalition who represent both farmer and service provider perspectives in Virginia. This elected advisory group is responsible for providing input to guide program activity to best address the expressed needs of the Coalition. We are excited to announce the two newest members of the VBFRC advisory group: Anne Geyer and Patrick Johnson!

2016 VBFRC Mini-Grant Projects

The Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition (VBFRC) announces the dissemination of over $30,000 of mini-grant funds to Coalition partner organizations for 2016 programming opportunities aimed at supporting the next generation of farmers and ranchers in Virginia. 

Newsletters

Summer 2015 Newsletter Download
Summer 2015
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Winter 2014
Spring 2013 Newsletter Image
Spring 2013
Winter 2012 Newsletter Image
Winter 2012
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Summer 2012
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Spring 2012
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If you want to stay informed about our program activities using social media, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or subscribe to our listserv.  If you have comments or questions, please contact Allyssa Mark by email.

The Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Program is a state-wide and coalition-based Extension program housed in Virginia Tech’s Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education. Funding was sponsored by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Award #2015-70017-22887. For more information, contact Kim Niewolny, Program Director and Extension Specialist, at niewolny@vt.edu or 540-231-5784.

 

For website updates, such as broken links, please contact Allyssa Mark, Program Associate.

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