Today’s farmers are changing the way we farm and eat in this country. Folks starting out in farming today are:
- From both rural and urban areas, and everywhere in between
- Conscious of their impact on the environment and interested in learning how to protect natural resources on their farms
- Pursuing new markets and selling both fresh and value-added products directly to consumers, wholesalers, restaurants, schools, and food hubs
- More likely to be female, a person of color, and/or have served in the U.S. military
- More likely to consider diversi cation options, comprehensive conservation systems, and organic farming practices
Today, a significant portion of livestock, poultry and other crops are being raised under production contracts, also known as grower agreements. Contracting has changed the shape of American agriculture. In the future, you may consider signing a contract to raise a crop under detailed specifications or to care for livestock or poultry owned by someone else.
USDA cannot tell you whether or not to sign a production contract. Each farmer and every farm business is different and there are many different types of contracts available. Making the important decision to enter a production contract should only be made after you consider how contracting may affect the future of your farm business. Continue reading