Aerial view of a Minnesota farm.

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Clearinghouse

Principal Investigator

Robert Craven

Department and College

Department of Applied Economics in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Project Number


Funding Type

NIFA Grant, Non-Formula

Project Start and End Date

December 1, 2014-November 30, 2019

Project Summary

This project will develop a Clearinghouse that will help beginning farmers and ranchers be more successful. The Clearinghouse will assemble educational materials, online courses, software tools, stories, and the ability to connect online into a well-organized website where beginning producers can quickly obtain the information, training, and connections they need. It will:

  1. Help individuals and families exploring, beginning, establishing, and managing farms or ranches quickly and easily access the information and training they need.
  2. Support BFRDP programs by facilitating sharing, collaboration, and communication and by providing programs better access to educational materials.
  3. Help BFRDP projects better disseminate their educational materials so they can reach more beginning farmers and ranchers.
  4. Enhance focus on outcomes by assisting BFRDP projects to improve outcome-based reporting.

The Clearinghouse will leverage CFFM's existing Ag Risk and Farm Management Library and Results Verification System to provide more powerful resources for beginning farmers and ranchers and those who serve them. The Clearinghouse will offer multiple means to help beginning farmers and ranchers learn, including the ability; to find materials on topics of importance to them, to ask questions of other producers, to learn from online videos and courses, to find BFRDP programs in their geographic region, and to read stories about other beginning producers. They will be able to choose the method to find answers, ideas, and information that works best for them.

Technologies used by young farmers and ranchers are rapidly evolving, so the Clearinghouse will be built to be accessible on a variety of platforms including PCs, tablets, and phones.