A few months ago, KFUF was awarded a grant from our friends at Farm Aid to support KFU’s Kansas Beginning Farmers Coalition through the Cultivating Connections: Creating a Beginning Farmer and Rancher Network in Kansas project.

This project will engage and inform beginning farmers and ranchers through the development of online resources, and encourage producers to explore innovative production, management and finance strategies. This project will empower farmers and ranchers to seek solutions to shared opportunities and challenges while becoming stronger advocates for state and national policies and programs that support beginning farmers and encourage financially viable land transfers.

Additionally, the project launches a campaign to increase awareness among current KFU members of opportunities to support and mentor beginning farmers and maximizes the development of relationships across generations and experience levels.

Our primary audience is prospective and beginning farmers and ranchers across Kansas and our secondary audience is current KFU members–established farmers with the capacity, resources and desire to assist or mentor new farmers.

The goals of this project are expressed in the mission of the Kansas Beginning Farmer Coalition: “To Engage, Encourage, and Empower beginning farmers of all ages.”

Specifically, the project goals are to:

  • Expand membership in the Kansas Beginning Farmer Coalition by engaging new farmers with relevant and reliable online resources and learning opportunities appropriate for Kansas.
  • Increase opportunities for beginning and experienced farmers to interact providing inspiration, support, encouragement, knowledge transfer and informal mentoring.
  • Expand the power of beginning farmers through opportunities to address shared challenges and improve advocacy.

At KBFC’s first public meeting, members established priorities based on each of the mission’s calls to action. Project objectives reflect the group’s most pressing concerns:

  • Develop a website for beginning farmers in Kansas (Engage);
  • Create a listserv where farmers can ask questions and share information (Engage);
  • Regularly bring together farmers of all experience levels for inspiration and knowledge transfer (Encourage);
  • Provide informal mentoring opportunities (Encourage);
  • Establish 2-3 working groups to explore opportunities such as cooperative equipment sharing, LandLink programs, and group purchasing (Empower); and
  • Advocate for state and national policies and programs that support beginning farmers and encourage financially viable land transfers (Empower).

KBFC Update: begins May 6th!
This enews will share workshops and events from across our region, as well as webinars, grant announcements and newly-released resources. Sign-up today and never miss a great opportunity!

KBFC Listserv: coming in June!
Got a question? Or the knowledge and experience to provide an answer? The KBFC listserv is where you can connect with other Kansas farmers.

KBFC Website: launching in July!
A new website with expanded offerings will launch this summer. Until then, connect with the KBFC on the KFU website page!