Beginning farmers and ranchers face a seemingly unlimited number of decisions, from drawing up a business plan and arranging financing to learning what programs are available to make it easier to start up and sustain a successful operation. To help, the National Farmers Union is offering a new Beginning Farmer Institute to individuals who are contemplating starting a farm operation, have just begun farming or are in the process of transferring an operation from a parent, grandparent, or other relative.
"We are designing this program to answer the questions new farmers have, and more importantly share our expertise to answer questions that people do not always think of asking when they begin farming," NFU President Roger Johnson said. "Program topics will cover business planning, understanding USDA programs, tax and record keeping, and marketing."
Applications may be found at www.nfu.org/education. Applicants accepted into the 2012 program will attend two separate education sessions, one this summer, the other in September in Washington, D.C. A $25 registration fee is required for accepted candidates. The National Farmers Union Foundation will cover the costs of materials, transportation, and lodging. This program is supported by Farm Credit and Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.