Beginning Farmer Institute

National Farmers Union's Beginning Farmer Institute (BFI) is a free training programs for new producers of all ages and operation type/size. Participants attend three in-person learning sessions over the course of the year, one each in Washington, D.C., Northern California, and Savannah, Georgia. The sessions include farm tours as well as seminars on a variety of beginning farmers issues, such as business planning, USDA programs, and acquiring land.

Learn more about the Beginning Farmers Institute in the FAQs below!

Beginning Farmer Institute FAQs!


  • Must be 18 years or older.
  • Applicants should be currently farming or planning on starting within the next year.
  • Owning an operation is not required.
  • Operations of any type and size are eligible to apply.
  • This program is open to residents of the contiguous United States, Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico.
  • Commitment

  • The Beginning Farmer Institute meets three times a year. Attendance at these meetings is required.

  • Application and Selection Process

  • Applications are made available on February 1-April 15, 2019.
  • Each application will be carefully reviewed and analyzed for content and completion by a screening committee. A team of people who have hands-on farming experience will score applications.
  • Cost

  • NFU will cover the majority of the remaining costs of the NFU Beginning Farmer Institute including travel, lodging, and most meals during the event.

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  • NFU’s expectation is to have each institute graduate become an inspiration to and actively mentor similar individuals in their area or to become candidates for local boards and other community opportunities.

  • Stitched College Wildcats Jersey Blank Blue 2018-2019 BFI Participants

    Stitched College Wildcats Jersey Blank Blue

    Deanne Boyer

    Blue Williamson Jersey Black College Devils 12 Elite Basketball Stitched Zion

    Stitched College Wildcats Jersey Blank Blue Rachel Brann

    Leslie Caccamese

    Jill Chi

    Konnor Dehmlow

    Danielle Endvick

    Kat Johnson

    Amanda Olson
    North Dakota

    Tyler Neubauer
    North Dakota

    Christina Pegg

    Sarah Rachor

    Elliott Salazar

    Rebecca Sheahan

    Sarah Stenuf
    New York

    Dion Stepanski

    Molly Stepanski

    Olivia Terry

    Stitched College Wildcats Jersey Blank Blue

    A special thank you to BFI's sponsors!