USDA Programs Help Land and Beginning Farmers

Cindy ZimmermanConservation, USDA

usda-logoFarmers, ranchers and landowners committed to protecting and conserving environmentally sensitive land may sign up for USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) starting today. In addition, retiring farmers enrolled in CRP can receive incentives to transfer a portion of their land to beginning, disadvantaged or veteran farmers through the Transition Incentives Program (TIP).

“The average age of farmers and ranchers in the United States is 58 years, and twice as many are 65 or older compared to those 45 or younger,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The cost of buying land is one of the biggest barriers to many interested in getting started in agriculture. The Transition Incentives Program is very useful as we work to help new farmers and ranchers get started.”

The Conservation Reserve Program provides incentives to producers who utilize conservation methods on environmentally-sensitive lands. For example, farmers are monetarily compensated for establishing long-term vegetative species, such as approved grasses or trees (known as “covers”) to control soil erosion, improve water quality, and enhance wildlife habitat.

Read more here from USDA.