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7 U.S. Code § 6934a - Beginning farmer and rancher coordination

(a) DefinitionsIn this section:
(1) Beginning farmer or rancher

The term “beginning farmer or rancher” has the meaning given such term in section 2279(a) of this title.

(2) National Coordinator

The term “National Coordinator” means the National Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coordinator established under subsection (b)(1).

(3) State coordinator

The term “State coordinator” means a State beginning farmer and rancher coordinator designated under subsection (c)(1)(A).

(4) State officeThe term “State office” means—
(A) a State office of—
the Farm Service Agency;
the Natural Resources Conservation Service;
the Rural Business-Cooperative Service; or
the Rural Utilities Service; or
a regional office of the Risk Management Agency.
(b) National Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coordinator
(1) Establishment

The Secretary shall establish in the Department the position of National Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coordinator.

(2) Duties
(A) In generalThe National Coordinator shall—
advise the Secretary and coordinate activities of the Department on programs, policies, and issues relating to beginning farmers and ranchers; and
in consultation with the applicable State food and agriculture council, determine whether to approve a plan submitted by a State coordinator under subsection (c)(3)(B).
(B) Discretionary dutiesAdditional duties of the National Coordinator may include—
(i) developing and implementing new strategies—
for outreach to beginning farmers and ranchers; and
to assist beginning farmers and ranchers with connecting to owners or operators that have ended, or expect to end within 5 years, actively owning or operating a farm or ranch; and
facilitating interagency and interdepartmental collaboration on issues relating to beginning farmers and ranchers.
(3) Reports

Not less frequently than once each year, the National Coordinator shall distribute within the Department and make publicly available a report describing the status of steps taken to carry out the duties described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (2).

(4) Contracts and cooperative agreementsIn carrying out the duties under paragraph (2), the National Coordinator may enter into a contract or cooperative agreement with an institution of higher education (as defined in section 1001 of title 20), cooperative extension services (as defined in section 3103 of this title), or a nonprofit organization—
to conduct research on the profitability of new farms in operation for not less than 5 years in a region;
to develop educational materials;
to conduct workshops, courses, training, or certified vocational training; or
to conduct mentoring activities.
(c) State beginning farmer and rancher coordinators
(1) In general
(A) Designation

The National Coordinator, in consultation with State food and agriculture councils and directors of State offices, shall designate in each State a State beginning farmer and rancher coordinator from among employees of State offices.

(B) RequirementsTo be designated as a State coordinator, an employee shall—
be familiar with issues relating to beginning farmers and ranchers; and
have the ability to coordinate with other Federal departments and agencies.
(2) Training

The Secretary shall develop a training plan to provide to each State coordinator knowledge of programs and services available from the Department for beginning farmers and ranchers, taking into consideration the needs of all production types and sizes of agricultural operations.

(3) DutiesA State coordinator shall—
coordinate technical assistance at the State level to assist beginning farmers and ranchers in accessing programs of the Department;
develop and submit to the National Coordinator for approval under subsection (b)(2)(A)(ii) a State plan to improve the coordination, delivery, and efficacy of programs of the Department to beginning farmers and ranchers, taking into consideration the needs of all types of production methods and sizes of agricultural operation, at each county and area office in the State;
oversee implementation of an approved State plan described in subparagraph (B);
work with outreach coordinators in the State offices to ensure appropriate information about technical assistance is available at outreach events and activities; and
coordinate partnerships and joint outreach efforts with other organizations and government agencies serving beginning farmers and ranchers.
Editorial Notes
Prior Provisions

A prior section 7404 of Pub. L. 107–171 was classified as a note under section 3101 of this title, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 115–334, title VII, § 7506, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4823.


Section was enacted as part of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, and not as part of the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994, which in part comprises this chapter.