Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

The Beginning Farmers and Ranchers project is a joint effort of Farm Foundation, USDA and the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) to examine issues that either hinder or facilitate the entry of beginning farmers and ranchers into the agricultural sector, as well as the factors that lead to their success or failure.

Call for Papers on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

 The Economic Research Service, USDA and Farm Foundation are sponsoring a 2-day workshop on young and beginning farmers and ranchers, in order to provide a forum to discuss beginning farmer and rancher opportunities. The workshop, to be held in fall 2020 in Washington D.C., will bring together academics and other researchers and USDA agencies, with the objective of informing practitioners, policy makers and USDA program agencies in their interactions with young and beginning farmers and ranchers.

Organizers are calling for papers or other session proposals highlighting empirical data and models that bring cutting-edge thinking on one or more themes related to beginning farmers and ranchers (BFR), including:

These above themes are suggested only. In addition to research, we are also looking for case studies of the above. Farm Foundation encourages researchers, farmers and other thought leaders from private industry, government, and non-profits to submit paper proposals.

A recent report from ERS describes some of the geographic, commodity specialization and financial characteristics of beginning farms and farmers. In addition to ARMS data, data from the 2017 and earlier Agricultural Censuses are easily accessed and provide an extensive repository of data for analysis.

Full papers are not to exceed 15-20 pages and 4,000 words maximum. Authors of selected papers will receive an honorarium from the Farm Foundation to cover their participation expenses, and accepted papers will be considered for publication in a special issue of Agricultural Finance Review.

Abstracts and other conference proposals (e.g. panels and other session proposals) are being accepted through May 29, 2020. One-page abstracts/proposals should be sent to bfr@farmfoundation.orgFor more information, contact Martha King at or (331) 874-3377.

Final paper submissions and other materials for accepted proposals will be due at a later date.

Thank you to the following organizations for their support of this important project:


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