Family & Small Farm Program

Farms and ranches are of vital importance to the United States. With the vast majority of the population living in urban or semi-urban communities, it is easy to forget the importance and scope of our agricultural production. NIFA administers competitive and non-competitive funding opportunities that help its partners undertake research, education, and extension activities that support the work of farmers and ranchers across the United States.

Depending on the underlying legislation, partners include universities and other institutions of higher learning, other government agencies, private for profit and not-for profit organizations, and, in a few cases, private businesses. The Farmers Union has noted, American farmers and ranchers produce the most affordable, abundant, safe, and healthy food supply in the world. Our producers can also play an important role as stewards of the land. More than 922 million acres, about 52 percent of U.S. land is used for all agricultural purposes. It would be a mistake, however, to think that all farms and ranches are the same. The Ag Census shows considerable variation among U.S. farms and ranches in their size and profitability, their location, what they produce, their value to the nation, and the demographics of the operators. NIFA takes pride in supporting the work of the many agencies and organizations to promote the well-being of U.S. farms and ranches, and highlighting their successes.

The NIFA Small Farm Toll-Free Info Line (800-583-3071) is a service for farmers and ranchers with small farms-related questions to speak to NIFA small farms experts. The line is answered Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m EST.

Program Type:
Grant Program
Program Specific Resources
External Resources

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