National Farmers Union's Beginning Farmer Institute (BFI) is a free training programs for new producers of all ages and operation type/size. Participants attend three in-person learning sessions over the course of the year, one each in Washington, D.C., Northern California, and Savannah, Georgia. The sessions include farm tours as well as seminars on a variety of beginning farmers issues, such as business planning, USDA programs, and acquiring land.
Learn more about the Beginning Farmers Institute in the FAQs below!
Beginning Farmer Institute FAQs!
Must be 18 years or older.
Applicants should be currently farming or planning on starting within the next year.
Owning an operation is not required.
Operations of any type and size are eligible to apply.
This program is open to residents of the contiguous United States, Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico.
The Beginning Farmer Institute meets three times a year. Attendance at these meetings is required.
NFU will cover the majority of the remaining costs of the NFU Beginning Farmer Institute including travel, lodging, and most meals during the event.
Application and Selection Process
Applications are made available on nfu.org February 1-April 15, 2019.
Each application will be carefully reviewed and analyzed for content and completion by a screening committee. A team of people who have hands-on farming experience will score applications.
NFU’s expectation is to have each institute graduate become an inspiration to and actively mentor similar individuals in their area or to become candidates for local boards and other community opportunities.