National Farmers Union (NFU) is now accepting applications for the 2015 class of the Beginning Farmers Institute (BFI). The annual program is open to individuals who are new to farming, in the process of transferring an operation from a relative or non-relative to themselves, or contemplating a career in farming or ranching.
“The Beginning Farmers Institute underscores NFU’s commitment to growing a new generation of family agriculture,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “One unique feature of the Institute is that participants direct the agenda, allowing them to gain information on topics that will be most relevant to their particular operations. The small size and diversity of the group also ensures valuable interaction and learning opportunities among the participants.”
The BFI program helps students gain insight and practical skills needed by beginning farmers and ranchers, including business plan writing, financial planning, and researching available programs to help starting up and sustaining a successful operation.
Applicants accepted into the 2015 program will attend three separate education sessions: Washington, D.C., Sept. 15-18; northern California, Nov. 5-8; and a final session culminating at NFU’s 114th Anniversary Convention in March 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Program topics at the education sessions will include business planning, U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, tax and record keeping, estate transfer and marketing.
The Beginning Farmers Institute is supported by the CHS Foundation, FUI Foundation, Farm Credit, and the NFU Foundation.
Interested applicants can download the 2015 application on the NFU website, as well as visit NFU’s education Facebook page for updates and further information on NFU’s youth and young adult education programs. Applications must be postmarked on or before March 30, 2015. The announcement of accepted applicants to the BFI program will be on May 30, 2015.