USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the appointment of the Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. The Committee will advise the Secretary on ways to develop programs to provide coordinated assistance to beginning farmers and ranchers while maximizing new farming and ranching opportunities. They will also work to enhance and expand federal-state partnerships to provide financing for beginning farmers and ranchers.

"Beginning farmers are a key to 21st-century agriculture and I look forward to working with this committee to help ensure that," Vilsack said. "These new agricultural entrepreneurs are the cornerstone to a vibrant rural America and to the future of all of agriculture. I will look to this committee to provide guidance to me as we prepare recommendations for the 2012 farm bill."

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