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Beginning Farmer & Rancher Projects

Description of Project

Farmers and ranchers are some of the most important stewards of our natural resources while contributing to the economic vitality and livability of our rural (and, increasingly, urban) communities. Given that the average age of our agricultural producers is nearly 60, there is an urgent need to help attract and support the next generation of stewards and food producers. In collaboration with a number of partners, SAGE is providing various types of support for beginning farmers and ranchers (BFR) as they enter the agricultural sector.

Our primary current direct project is Cultivating a New Generation of Farmers at the Urban Edge, a collaboration with the Alameda County Conservation Partnership. We are also collaborating with a project led by UC Berkeley that is creating beginning farmer networks in six California regions, based on a train the trainer model.

In addition, many of SAGE’s other project, such as our AgPark development and regional agricultural planning projects, also provide support for the new and beginning farmers.

Past Worshops

Watch videos of past workshops here. Videos were recorded and uploaded by ACRCD (Alameda County Resource Conservation District).

  • Agri-Tourism Workshop
  • Production 101 Workshop
  • Irrigation Management Workshop and Field Day
  • Weeds Management Workshop and Field Day
  • Soils and Soil Fertility Workshop and Field Day
  • Farm Hedgerow Workshop and Field Day
  • Business Planning
  • Collaborative Marketing

Resources for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

ACRCD – The Alameda County Resource Conservation District (ACRCD) and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) collaborate as the Conservation Partnership to serve as the lead conservation agency in Alameda County.

We provide technical and educational services for natural resource conservation and agriculture enhancement. The Partnership collaborates with many partners including private landowners, local, state and federal agencies and other organizations to develop and implement various conservation and agricultural strategies.

Start2Farm – A Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Site with lots of useful information for those considering farming and those already underway.

CA FarmLink – A nonprofit organization that provides farmers with the tools they need to lease and purchase land, access capital, and improve business and financial management skills.

NCAT-ATTRA – A program of the National Center for Appropriate Technology providing information and technical assistance regarding sustainable agriculture to farmers, ranchers, Extension agents, educators, and others in the US.

CA Farm Academy – A non-profit educational program dedicated to training, mentoring and providing access to land for motivated, hard-working farm entrepreneurs.

ALBA – A non-profit organization that provides educational and business opportunities for farm workers and aspiring farmers to grow and sell crops grown on two organic farms in Monterey County, California

National Young Farmers Coalition – a national farmer led partnership bringing farmers together in person and online to learn, share and build a stronger community.

Young Cattlemen’s – An organization of young California Ranchers

Greenhorns – an organization dedicated to recruiting, promoting and supporting the new generation of young farmers through avant-garde programming such as video, audio, web content, publications, events, and art projects.

This initiative is funded by the USDA NIFA Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development Program Grant # 2011-49400-30641. hosted in conjunction with Sustainable Agriculture Education, will include a variety of topics relevant to beginning farmers and ranchers as well as opportunities for collaboration and mentorship.