National Farmers Union (NFU) is pleased to announce the 10 participants selected for NFU’s new Beginning Farmer Institute. Applicants who will participate in the institute are Eric Kornacki of Colorado, Nicole Mroz of Florida, Natalie Cash of Hawaii, Thomas Burkhead of Iowa, Laura Arvidson and Benjamin Peterson of Montana, Bryn Bird and Lee Bird of Ohio, Steve Wolterstorff of South Dakota and Kent Wright of Washington
“Today’s farmers face a many challenges,” said NFU President Roger Johnson in a news release. “The Beginning Farmer Institute will provide these participants with a better understanding of the tools and programs that are available to help them succeed.”
Institute participants will learn about financial planning, farm management, and farmer-owned cooperatives. In addition, they will help determine the agenda based on what they have identified as important to their operation. Topics include marketing, understanding U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, renewable energy, recording keeping, farm transitioning and understanding the local food system.
“Farming is both a profession and a way of life, and it demands a lot from people,” said Johnson. “Farmers are entrepreneurs, conservationists, mechanics, managers, and they have to do all of these things well in order to operate a farm around the clock, month after month, year after year. They literally grow our nation’s food, feed, fuel, and fiber from the ground up.”
The selected individuals from across the nation range from cattle ranchers and grain farmers to those growing for farmers markets to urban farmers. The program is sponsored in part by Farm Credit, CHS Foundation and the NFU Foundation.