February 5, 2019

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106

WASHINGTON – National Farmers Union (NFU) today announced the opening of the application period for its Beginning Farmer Institute (BFI) program class of 2019-2020. NFU encourages new farmers of any age from operations of any size, type or geography to apply for the class.

BFI’s hands-on training provides beginning farmers and ranchers in the U.S. with the tools they need to lead successful farm and ranch operations and the opportunity to grow as leaders in their communities and American agriculture.

“NFU continues to build on BFI’s past successes to provide new farmers and ranchers from across the country with the best training and development opportunities in adult education,” said Tom Driscoll, director of National Farmers Union Foundation. “It is vital to the future of both American agriculture and our entire country that we have skilled family farm operations and proven leaders in rural communities. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved with the BFI program to date, and we are looking forward to working with and empowering this year’s class.”

The BFI program will host three in-person sessions in Washington, D.C., California, and Georgia over the coming year. Programming will focus on equipping participants with skillsets in business formation, accounting, taxation, labor, credit and business planning.

“We’ve focused our trainings on the aspects of running a farming operation that are essential to succeeding in modern agriculture, no matter the size or location of the farm, nor what it produces or how it markets its products,” said Driscoll. “This year’s participants can look forward to a refined curriculum and the same networking opportunities and sense of community that BFI has always provided.”

Farmers from all geographic regions and a diverse range of production methods have greatly benefitted from the training. The most recent class of the program—which will graduate at the upcoming NFU Convention in Bellevue, Washington—has 18 farmers and ranchers from 13 states. Women and veterans represent a majority of program’s past participants.

“BFI brings together family farmers from all backgrounds and sizes, embodying what we pride ourselves on as an organization. Regardless of our agricultural, societal or political views, we always come together as a community in hope of bettering the future of American family farm agriculture,” Driscoll concluded.

The application period for the 2019-2020 class will be open until April 12, 2019. BFI is sponsored by FUI Foundation, Farm Credit Council and CHS Foundation. More information about BFI is available here.


To download an audio file of Tom Driscoll’s quotes, visit

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National Farmers Union advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. We envision a world in which farm families and their communities are respected, valued, and enjoy economic prosperity and social justice.

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