Beginning Farmer Institute
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 Nashville, Tennessee. 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.
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.
Application and Selection Process
Applications are made available on nfu.org April 1-June 15, 2020.
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.
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.
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.