Thursday, April 23, 2020

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, in order to provide a forum to discuss Beginning farmer and rancher opportunities. The workshop, to be held in September 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.

Organizers are calling for papers highlighting empirical data and models that bring cutting edge thinking on one or more themes related to beginning farmers and ranchers (BFR), including:
  • BFR Financial and risk management strategies
  • Credit availability and access to capital
  • Overcoming land access and other barriers to entry
  • Farm succession strategies for older operators
  • New markets and marketing strategies for BFRs
  • State extension programming for BFRs
  • NGO and community outreach efforts for BFRs
  • Lender initiatives for BFRs
  • Demographics of young and beginning farmers, including entry by women, under-represented, and socially disadvantaged groups and veterans
These above themes are suggestive only. In addition to research, we are also looking for case studies of the above.

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 4000 words maximum. Authors of selected papers will receive an honorarium from the Farm Foundation to cover their participation expenses, and all papers will be given the option of consideration for publication in a special issue of Agricultural Finance Review.

The deadline to submit a one-page abstract is May 15, 2020 and authors of selected abstracts will be notified by June 30, 2020. Abstracts should be sent to For more information, contact Tim Brennan at (630) 571-9393.

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