No, that’s not a typo.
What it stands for is, “Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers”, and this committee is appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture since, “The Committee provides recommendations to the Secretary.” Why am I writing a post about this? Well, I learned today that I—Chris, in case you’re still wondering which one of our voices you’re hearing on our website, Facebook, etc.–was appointed to this committee, and I am REALLY excited about being able to serve in this position for the next two-year term. You see, we got into farming not only because we thought it was an area with a lot of potential that we could do well in, but because we really want(ed) to affect change in our food systems. This has been a real guiding force in the way(s) we farm, and it has also led us to get involved in local-, state-, and now national-level groups that are doing their best to improve things for farmers, local food organizations and the public in general.
The committee is made up of 20 individuals who are pulled in from all over the country and who represent a diverse array of groups involved with Agriculture. Surprisingly enough, farmers and ranchers are not required by the statute to be a part of this advisory committee, though they are listed as a group that people can be appointed from. Since I’ve made the cut as a farmer *WOO HOO!* I’ll be doing all that I can to bring farmers’ voices to the table and to help improve the situation for beginning farmers (and ranchers) and farmers in general. I’ll learn more about how it all works over the next few weeks, so until I know more I’ll leave you with the basic blurb that describes what the committee’s mission is:
“The Agricultural Credit Improvement Act of 1992 (Pub. L. 102-554) required the Secretary of Agriculture to establish the Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers (Committee). The purpose of the Committee is to advise the Secretary on (1) the development of a program of coordinated financial assistance to qualified beginning farmers and ranchers required by Section 309 (i) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (this program consists of Federal and state beginning farmer programs that provide joint financing to beginning farmers and ranchers); (2) methods of maximizing the number of new farming and ranching opportunities created through the program; (3) methods of encouraging States to participate in the program; (4) the administration of the program; and (5) other methods of creating new farming or ranching opportunities.”
You can find out a lot more about this committee at the following link: ACBFR