For Immediate Release
March 20, 2017
Contact: John Hansen 402-476-8815
Beginning farmer, Katie Jantzen of Plymouth, graduated from the sixth class of the Beginning Farmer Institute (BFI) of the National Farmers Union. On March 4th, 17 beginning farmers from across the country received certificates at the awards banquet of the National Farmers Union (NFU) preceding the national convention in San Diego, California.
The Beginning Farmer Institute brings together beginning farmers for class sessions, discussions, and farm tours. The first session of this year’s class was held in Washington, D.C. and featured a tour of an urban farm, discussions on land access, and presentations on topics such as farm liability issues and farm policy. At the second session, held in Salinas, California, participants toured several large-scale organic vegetable and berry farms as well as local food restaurants. At the final session in San Diego, the participants heard from speakers on topics ranging from farm succession issues to farm accounting and tax considerations.
Jantzen commented, “The real value of the program for me lies in the opportunity to network with such a diverse group of other young farmers from around the country. This year’s group represented organic vegetable farmers, conventional grain farmers, livestock operations, and fruit/nut farms. I appreciated the chance to get to know other beginning farmers from around the country to discuss common challenges we face and to share resources.”
“Katie is a former Nebraska Farmers Union (NeFU) youth camper and youth camp counselor. The BFI is Farmers Union’s effort to identify beginning farmers and help them acquire the financial and networking skills they need to get started in farming. If we as farmers and as farm organizations want the next generation of young farmers to get started farming, we must aggressively work and take action to give them a foothold and running start in agriculture. We are pleased that Katie participated in our BFI program and that it was helpful to her. We are always pleased when we see young people that want to become involved in the noble profession of producing food for others,” said John Hansen, NeFU President. Hansen urged anyone interested in the BFI program to contact the NeFU state office or Melissa Miller at NFU at (202-554-1600.
Applications for the 2017-2018 class are currently being accepted and can be found at www.nfu.org .
Nebraska Farmers Union is a general farm organization with 3,500 farm and ranch family members dedicated to protecting and enhancing the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers and ranchers, and their rural communities. Since 1913, Nebraska Farmers Union has helped organize over 445 cooperatives.