NFU BEGINNING FARMER INSTITUTE
“It’s a Powerful Experience”
“National Farmers Union’s ability to reach out to a broad cross section of farmers makes it different than other organizations. They teach at a level that opens eyes to a broader picture of where our farm fits into agriculture,” says Erin, NFU Beginning Farmer Institute (BFI) alum. “It’s the content of their classes, the small group in a close-knit setting, visiting innovative farmers, talking with experts and learning from my peers from a diverse variety of farms across the country that gives me the opportunity to learn different solutions. The NFU Institute makes a person think beyond his or her own farm. The NFU Institute is where ‘top down and bottom up’ come together. It’s a powerful experience.”
SAMPLE AGENDA TOPICS
Top Five Tips for Beginning Farmers
Business Planning: Plan Your Ag Business in its Entirety
New Opportunities in Agriculture
Organic and Local Food Systems
Sole Proprietorship, LLC or S Corp?
Record Keeping and Tax Preparation for Farmers
Taking the Reins: Direction After the Family Farm is Transitioned
What Insurance Do I Need On My Farm?
Find a Mentor/Be a Mentor
Employee Hiring and Management
Financing 101: How to Sit Down with Your Banker and Ask for a Loan
Financing 101, Part 2: How to Plan for and Survive a Tough Year
How to Write a Business Plan
Profit = Volume x Price -Costs
Cutting Costs, Reducing Inputs
Marketing Your Crop (Wholesale)
Direct Marketing Your Crop (Retail)
Marketing, Public Relations and Advertising Your Business
What is Sustainable Agriculture?
Renewable Energy on Your Farm
Wind Power Basics
How to Conduct Research
Understanding USDA Programs
How to be Effective on a Board of Directors and Why it is Important that Your Voice is Heard
Present Yourself Professionally and Influence Other
How to Increase Your Ability to Get Things Done
How to Improve Positive Thinking with New Visions, New Ambitions
Farms that Found a Niche
Farms that Set an Example
Each institute will be tailored to the participants’ needs as determined by a pre-attendance survey.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
- There’s no age limit for the Beginning Farmer Institute – anyone over the age of 18 is eligible to apply.
- Applicants should be currently farming or planning on starting within the next year.
- You do not need to own your own operation to apply.
- We welcome women, veterans, people of color, and other minority candidates.
- Operators of any operation type and size are eligible to apply.
- This program is open to residents of the contiguous United States, Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico.
2020 APPLICATION TIMELINE
NFU’s Beginning Farmer Institute (BFI) will start accepting applications April 15, 2020.
Applications must be postmarked by June 15, 2020.
The 2019-20 BFI Class will be announced by mid-August
This program is brought to you the National Farmers Union Foundation, Farm Credit, FUI Foundation, CoBank, Farm Aid, and CHS Foundation.