BLACKSBURG—The demand for information on how to start farming continues to grow, and a new U.S. Department of Agriculture website is designed to be an easy place to start looking.
Start2Farm.gov went live in mid-February. It’s designed to help visitors find local programs to help them learn about a career in agriculture, as well as to help existing farm operations grow or transition to new owners. Virginia’s Farm Link program is one of several mentioned on the site.
“Once you go into that beginning farmer portal there are several resources there, and they’re adding them and growing it as well. We represent one of the efforts in Virginia,” said Kelli Scott, farm mentor coordinator in Southwest Virginia for the Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Project.
“Agriculture is a very diverse field; there are a lot of different folks getting into farming. Some are young and just getting into farming; some are coming into agriculture as a second career; some of them have inherited land and are just now learning about farming,” Scott said. “If you’re computer-literate, this site will be a very helpful introduction to agriculture.”
The Beginning Farmer and Rancher project is in its third year at Virginia Tech. Supported by a USDA grant, it is one of almost 50 individual state projects designed to help would-be farmers learn how to survive and thrive in a highly technical and competitive industry.
Contact Scott at 540-315-5884 or Norm Hyde
, VFBF communications, at 804-290-1146.