Beginning Farmer and Rancher Stewardship Resources

Young and beginning farmers and ranchers are entering the animal agriculture industry at a time when the environmental impacts of their management decisions will be as important as their knowledge and skills in nutrition, reproduction, and business management. This page includes educational materials for teachers and a collection of resources on environmental knowledge and skills that beginning farmers and ranchers should develop.

Educational Curriculum

Several modules were created and cross-referenced to the national Agriculture Food and Natural Resources (AFNR) Career Cluster Content Standards. Each of the modules includes presentation slides, fact sheets, a lesson plan and other instructional materials.

Environmental Skills and Knowledge for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers (Animal Agriculture)


Soil Science and Soil Health What do you need to know about soil to make good management decisions related to the timing, locating and amount of manure application to fields?

Air Quality What are the major air topics associated with animal agriculture? Are there solutions?

Coming soon! Water quality and quantity

Production Management

Feed Nutrient Management Most of the information currently in this section is related to dairy farms.

Manure 101 How much manure do animals produce? What are the options and types of manure storage?

Coming soon! Small-scale livestock production

Business and Economics

Environmental Policy Statement A communication tool to outline your farm or ranch position on stewardship

Value of Manure Manure is not a waste, but a valuable source of plant nutrients and an increasingly popular source of renewable energy.

Human Resources and Public Relations

Coming soon! Neighbor relations, training employees, spanish language materials

This program originated thanks to funding from the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) under award #2009-49400-05871. This project is a joint effort between University of Nebraska, Montana State University, Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center and the National Young Farmers Educational Association (NYFEA). Meet the Beginning Farmer Project Team.

See all Beginning Farmer Articles