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 InfoLine (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.
- Support for profitable, ecologically sound farming system (SARE)
- National Agriculture Compliance Assistance Center
Program Specific Resources
- Overview of Small Farm Programs.pdf (3.98 MB)
- 2012 USDA Grants and Loans.pdf (1.15 MB)
- Beginning Farmers and Ranchers.pdf (1.23 MB)
- USDA Small Farm Partnerships.pdf (55.26 KB)
- Small Farm Digest 2013.pdf (741.63 KB)
- Small Farm Program Resources.pdf (193.42 KB)
- Small Farm Grant Resources.pdf (723.01 KB)
- USDA Agencies Offices.pdf (75.41 KB)
- National Ag Law Center
- Agricultural Marketing Resource Center
- EPA National Agriculture Center
- OSU Small Farms
- Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network
- USDA Resources for Small and Mid-Sized Farmers
- Past Small Farms Conference Information