Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) Assistance

Assistance for BFRDP Applicants

The New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, in collaboration with its partners, is working with the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to gain a better understanding of challenges inexperienced applicants face and to create tools and resources to help support them. The project aims to help all beginning farmer and rancher education and support organizations more easily and effectively apply for the USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) funding.  

BFRDP FY18 Application Period Open!

USDA NIFA announced on November 24th that the application period for BFRDP is open.



Online Self-Assessment Tool

Is BFRDP a good fit for your organization? This online self-assessment tool will allow applicants to determine their project's eligibility/applicability, and their level of readiness to submit an application and manage their grant if awarded. This tool is in the pilot phase and will continue to be developed in 2017.

Webinars and Resources

Webinars and resources will provide applicant training and assistance in the various aspects and components of the application process. We are developing more and updating current resources. Check back for updates and additions.

Upcoming webinars focused on the BFRDP application process:

None scheduled at this time. 

Recent BFRDP webinars:

  • Tuesday, December 19th, 1:00 - 3:00pm EST: NIFA BFRDP Webinar for Applicants

This webinar hosted by NIFA staff will review the BFRDP FY2018 grant program and application process.

Click here to view the recording.

  • Tuesday, December 12th, 1:00 - 2:00pm EST: BFRDP Application Process

Join this webinar led by New Entry staff as we walk through the various components of application submission for your BFRDP grant. This webinar will cover aspects of the application package as well as navigating

Click here to view this webinar recording.

  • November 29th at 2pm EST: Adult Education Theory

Presented by Christof Bernau, Garden Manager and Apprenticeship Instructor at the UCSC Farm and Garden. Learn the basics of Adult Education theory, how it applies to your BFRDP application, and hear examples from the UCSC Farm and Garden.

Click here to view this webinar recording.

  • September 19th at 1pm EST: Evaluation Plans
    This webinar provides information to develop a useful evaluation plan for both your organization's own use, as well as for a BFRDP proposal. Participants will gain an understanding of the basic steps, and will have a list of resources to use in developing future plans. This webinar is ideal for those who don't have much experience or training in evaluation, or those who want to learn more about creating an evaluation plan.

Click here to view this webinar recording.

  • Tuesday, July 18, 2017: Building Successful Collaborations

Presented by New Entry and our partner, Allison Goin, this webinar will focus on the importance of building and cultivating strong partnerships and collaborations for BFRDP.

Click here to view this webinar recording.

  • Tuesday, June 20, 2017: Project Development:

Led by New Entry and our partner, Allison Goin, this webinar addressed various aspects of project development for potential BFRDP applicants. We covered the basics of the BFRDP grant, and focused on Allison's “Ten Questions to Ask When Developing a Project for BFRDP”.

Click here to view a recording of “Project Development” from June 20th.

Past Webinars and Other Resources:

FAQ Portal

The FAQ Portal is a compilation of questions that have been asked during USDA webinars about the BFRDP application process. Use this portal to search these questions OR submit your own question, which will be answered by USDA staff. 

Application process survey

We conducted a survey to collect your feedback about and training needs regarding the BFRDP application process. Responses are voluntary and anonymous. Only summarized information will be reported. If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Jan Perez ( for more information.