The Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition (VBFRC) would like to announce the second round of mini-grant projects supported by our Coalition partner organizations. In 2015, the VBFRC funded seven Coalition partner projects for over $30,000. The Coalition is now disseminating $20,000 of mini-grant funds to support six additional projects for 2017.

The programs funded by these mini-grants are aimed at supporting the next generation of farmers and ranchers in Virginia by addressing: youth education; women in agriculture; building farm skills and experience; training resources for low-literacy farmers; farmland access; and micro-dairy farming. The organizations that received funding through the mini-grants are listed below. For more information on these programming opportunities, you may visit our webpage or contact the organizations directing the programs. Please feel free to share the attached announcement as you see fit. Congratulations to our Coalition partners. Thank you for the hard work you put into organizing these programming opportunities.

Agriberry Farm and Community Food Collaborative
Creating Innovative Conduits of Opportunity: Connecting beginning rural farmers and urban-dwelling potential farmers to expanded opportunities in networking for fresh fruit education and outreach partnerships
Anne Geyer,

Appalachian Sustainable Development and Virginia Cooperative Extension (Lee Office)
Piloting Women in Ag Group with Farm Tour s and Learning Sessions
Tamara McNaughton,

Fauquier Education Farm and Virginia Cooperative Extension (Fauquier Office)
An Introduction to Getting Your Hands Dirty
Jim Hankins,

International Rescue Committee
Financial Education for New Roots Microproducers
Elizabeth Moore,

Piedmont Environmental Council
Facilitating Farmland Access through Farmer-Landowner “Speed- Dating”
Jessica Palmer,

Virginia Cooperative Extension  (Rockbridge County)
Opportunities in Micro-Dairy Farming
Tom Stanley,

For more information on these programming opportunities, visit:

The Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition and this mini-grant initiative are sponsored through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) of the USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Award Number: 2015-70017-22887. For more information, visit us at Or contact Dr. Kim Niewolny at; 540-231-5784.

Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Interim Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.