September 11, 2018

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202.314.3106

WASHINGTON – National Farmers Union’s (NFU) Beginning Farmer Institute (BFI) convened this week in Washington, D.C., for the first of three learning sessions that will take place during the next year. Nineteen beginning farmers, representing demographical, geographical and production diversity in agriculture, traveled to the nation’s capital for the two-day session.

“Aging demographics in agriculture is one of our nation’s great challenges, and it underscores the importance of our BFI program,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “BFI builds on Farmers Union’s commitment to developing leaders in the next generation of family agriculture and celebrating the diversity in agriculture production today.”

The first session’s agenda focused on advocacy, marketing, and farm credit. Participants also toured local D.C. Greens’ K Street Farm in Washington, D.C., to learn about food access and insecurity. Several BFI members will stay in Washington for the NFU Fall Legislative Fly-In and lobby Congress on behalf of family farmers and ranchers in their communities.

NFU’s BFI program also provides beginning farmers and ranchers with hands-on technical training that emphasizes many of the challenges beginning farmers may face in their careers, enabling them to be successful in their operations and in this industry.

The beginning farmers and ranchers participating in the 2018-19 BFI program are:

  • Deanne Boyer, Pennsylvania
  • Rachel Brann, Minnesota
  • Leslie Caccamese, California
  • Jill Chi, Minnesota
  • Konnor Dehmlow, Colorado
  • Danielle Endvick, Wisconsin
  • Jesse Endvick, Wisconsin
  • Kat Johnson, Virginia
  • Amanda Martin, North Dakota
  • Tyler Neubauer, North Dakota
  • Christina Pegg, Hawaii
  • Sarah Rachor, Montana
  • Elliott Salazar, Colorado
  • Rebecca Sheahan, Delaware
  • Sara Stenuf, New York
  • Dion Stepanski, Michigan
  • Molly Stepanski, Michigan
  • Olivia Terry, Colorado

The BFI program is made possible through the generous support of CHS Foundation, Farm Aid, Farm Credit and Farmers Union Industries Foundation. The next program session will be held in Salinas, California, in early November 2018.


Pictures from BFI’s first session will be available soon on NFU’s Flickr page.

About NFU
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.

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