June 12, 2015

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
[email protected]

WASHINGTON (June 12, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) announced the 11 participants selected for the 2015/2016 Beginning Farmer Institute (BFI), a diverse group with operations ranging from half an acre to over 1800 acres. Those selected for the class are: Kasey Bitz of North Dakota; Kyle Carr, Jacob Fagan and Laura Ginsburg of Montana; Miranda Combs of Kentucky; Theresa Geiger of Colorado; Jean Lam of Oklahoma; Dana Rushovich of Maryland; Joshua Schultz of Michigan; and Lisa Shirek and Any Wallner of Wisconsin.

“The Beginning Farmer Institute underscores our commitment to growing leaders in the next generation of family agriculture,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “The program develops new and beginning farmers into leaders within their communities and allows us to share our expertise and answer questions that people might not think of asking when they begin farming.”

Institute participants will meet several times over the next year to learn about risk management, financial planning, farmer-owned cooperatives and farm management tools.

“The participants determine the institute’s agenda based on what they have identified as important to their operations,” said Johnson. “This year’s participants are from across the nation and range from cattle ranchers and grain farmers, to those growing for farmers markets to urban farmers. NFU is excited to have such a diverse group setting the agenda and learning from one another and experts from different fields in agriculture.”

BFI will kick off its first session of the year in Washington, D.C., in September, where they will learn about Farmers Union, public speaking, advocacy, and agenda items they develop. The second session in 2015 will be held in Salinas, California.

The program is sponsored in part by CHS Foundation, Farm Credit, and FUI Foundation.

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.


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