Thursday, February 6, 2014

What Do I Do About This?

Uh...what do I do about this?

I found myself asking this question a million times once I started farming.  As I wrote in an earlier post, I sought out any training I could find as I began to transition from the Air Force to the farm.  One of the best programs I found is through the National Farmers Union and it's called the Beginning Farmer Institute.

 This is the third year for their program and I was lucky to get to participate.  It's an absolutely outstanding program, run by the NFU Director of Education who loves to help beginning farmers.

One of the many great education sessions
I can't tell you enough how great this program is.  The other participants are all beginning farmers and we bounce ideas and questions off of each other all the time.  The participants are also very diverse, which I think is great.  We have a dairy operator, organic and conventional grain farmers, bee keepers, and farmers market & CSA producers.  Some have been farming 4-5 years, some are just starting, others will be starting soon.

Touring Whistling Well Farm in MN
The agenda centers around developing leadership and farm management skills, but it is tailored to meet the needs and desires of each group of participants.  The group has had excellent access to a great group of experts, professional speakers, ag and small business professionals, government officials, and others.  The program includes three sessions where we met as a group.  Ours were held in Washington DC, Minneapolis, and soon in Santa Fe.

If you are a beginning farmer or if you know one, I encourage you to take a look at NFU's Beginning Farmer Institute.  But you need to hurry, applications for the 2014 participants are due on February 20th.

Now that I figured that out...what do I do about this?

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