December 8, 2016

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106

WASHINGTON (December 8, 2016) – This week, National Farmers Union (NFU) brought together more than 1,000 beginning farmers and ranchers for the first online-only conference focused exclusively on education for the next generation of agriculture.

From December 5-8, attendees virtually joined educational sessions focused on beginning farmer and rancher issues, including: mentorship, business planning, USDA programs, women and veterans in farming, conservation and more. The conference, titled “Growing for the Future”, also featured farmer-to-farmer webinars, live question and answer sessions, a discussion board and a resource center.

“Agriculture will see a significant transition in the next decade as the older generations retire from agriculture and leave the responsibility of crop, fruit and vegetable, and livestock production to the next generation,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “By building an educational network for beginning farmers and ranchers to learn about farm business management and other important issues, we’re laying the foundation for a successful transition in the coming years.”

For those unable to attend the live conference, free registration will be available through January 9th to access all the resources, recordings of the live sessions and webinars and the discussion board. To register for the conference, visit

Recognizing the need for accessible educational resources to help beginning farmers and ranchers succeed, NFU has launched the NFU Beginning Farmer Forum, a web-based community and educational resource for those starting a farm or ranch business.

“We’re proud to continue to make education for beginning farmers and ranchers a priority in the Farmers Union organization. Through this online conference, our Beginning Farmer Institute, and our Beginning Farmer Forum, we are committed to the future success of the agriculture industry,” Johnson concluded.

The Growing for the Future conference was made possible through the generous in-kind support of the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association, Barn Media,, Center for Rural Affairs, Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute, Denver Urban Gardens, Farmer Veteran Coalition, Farmers Market Coalition, FarmHer, FarmLink, Johnny’s Select Seeds, MachineryLink Solutions, Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service, National Farmers Union Foundation, National Young Farmers Coalition, Red Ants Pants, Slow Food USA, Springdale Farm, Sustainable Food Center, Sustainable Seed Company, Turnrows, University of Maryland Agriculture Law Education Initiative, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Women Food & Ag Network.


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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