June 28, 2016

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
[email protected]

WASHINGTON (June 28, 2016) – National Farmers Union (NFU) Beginning Farmers Institute (BFI) was created to empower the success of America’s next generation of farmers, and the NFU Foundation is pleased to announce the largest participant class in the program’s six-year history. Seventeen beginning farmers and ranchers from across the country will participate in the 2016-17 BFI program.

“We are happy to welcome the largest class of beginning farmers to participate in this year’s Beginning Farmers Institute program. The legacy of American agriculture lies in the hands of the next generation of farmers and ranchers, and NFU is proud to offer an educational program that continues to represent the geographical and production diversity in agriculture,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.

NFU’s BFI provides support, technical training and inspiration to beginning farmers and ranchers, enabling them to be successful in their operations and in this industry. Through sessions hosted in Washington, D.C., and California, the program’s hands-on training will emphasize many of the challenges beginning farmers may face in their careers, such as business planning, access to capital, land acquisition, marketing, and more.

Agriculture diversity continues to be a focus of the BFI program. Participants in this year’s class come from operations that produce grain, fruits and vegetables, livestock, poultry and flowers. Several participants market their products through farmer’s markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), while several others are farming with their families and contemplating farmland succession.

Additionally, women and veterans have been some of the most active participants in the program’s history, representing a combined 60 percent of the 56 beginning farmers who have completed the program.

The farmers selected to participate in the 2016-17 Beginning Farmers Institute program are:

  • Betty J. Anderson, Wisconsin
  • Jaime Bakee, Wisconsin
  • Brittany Ann Bula, Wisconsin
  • Layne E. Cozzolino, Wisconsin
  • Jimmy Dula, Colorado
  • Tommy Enright, Wisconsin
  • Caitlin Hladky, Colorado
  • Justin Loch, Montana
  • Katie Jantzen, Nebraska
  • Christy Ottinger, Maryland
  • De’Quinton Robertson, Iowa
  • Eric Robert Sannerud, Minnesota
  • Amanda Schaub, Montana
  • Ariana Taylor-Stanley, Washington
  • Josh Stolzenburg, Wisconsin
  • Zach Teske, Kansas
  • Daniel Waldvogle, Colorado

NFU has continued to grow the BFI program through the generous support of CHS Foundation, Farm Credit and Farmers Union Industries Foundation. More information about BFI is available here.

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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