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About the Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition

The Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Program (VBFRCP) is a state-wide and coalition-based Extension program.  Our long-term goal is to improve opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers to establish and sustain viable agricultural operations and communities in Virginia.  To reach our goal, we support the development and enhancement of whole farm planning curriculum and training, online resources, social networking, and farmer mentoring.  Unique to our effort is a coalition of agricultural organizations and farm business that work together to develop and implement programming aims. The Coalition formed in the fall of 2010 as a way to more effectively address start-up needs of Virginia’s beginning farmers and ranchers. Coalition partners  represent a diverse stakeholder group:

Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE)

Virginia Tech (VT) and Virginia State University (VSU)

Beginning and Established Farmers

Non-governmental Sector

State and Federal Government

The Coalition acts as an umbrella network of organizations to assist in the development and enhancement of VBFRCP whole farming planning programs, educational resource support, service provider referrals, and networking.  Coalition service providers have ample experience and real-world knowledge that beginning farmers and ranchers seek:

  • Marketing
  • Sustainable farming practices
  • Whole farm business management and financial planning
  • Land acquisition and tenure
  • Farm safety and health

While each member may provide specific knowledge about a particular topic or need, each Coalition member ultimately shares a commitment to addressing farm-start up needs from the perspective that the farm is a “whole” that makes up many, integrated parts.  For more information about resources specific to Virginia through Coalition members, please see our Technical Assistance and Resource Directory.

Org Guidelines Image
Organizational and Decision Making Guidelines
Coalition 2013

To preview more photos of Coalition member events, visit our Flickr page (Photo credit to Kelli Scott)

For more information on coalition members and other beginning farmer resources, view our directory:

Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Program Technical Assistance and Resource Directory  (2013)

  • Kim Niewolny, Department of Agricultural and Extension Education, Virginia Tech
  • Sarah McKay, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech 



If you want to stay informed about our program activities using social media, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or subscribe to our listserv.  If you have comments or questions, please contact Allyssa Mark by email.

The Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Program is a state-wide and coalition-based Extension program housed in Virginia Tech’s Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education. Funding was sponsored by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Award #2015-70017-22887. For more information, contact Kim Niewolny, Program Director and Extension Specialist, at or 540-231-5784.


For website updates, such as broken links, please contact Allyssa Mark, Program Associate.