Thirteen farmers and ranchers from across the country took part in educational programs Sept. 9-11 in Washington, D.C., during the annual National Farmers Union (NFU) Fly-In. These programs promote leadership skills and technical training for the next generation of young agricultural professionals.
Kyle Minyard, AFR/OFU Cooperative member, and resident of Lebanon, Okla., was chosen to serve in the 2019-2020 class of NFU Beginning Farmer Institute (BFI).
BFI was established in 2011 in response to the changing demographic challenges facing the agricultural industry. The rising age of farmers and ranchers, and the scarcity of young and beginning farmers coming back to farm, were hurdles NFU wanted to try to amend with the implementation of the BFI program.
“This is a very good opportunity for me to be exposed to a varied of diverse organizations and farm operations,” Minyard said. “And to also meet with high-level policymakers that can help me make decisions on the direction we need to take with our farm operation.”
Through sessions hosted in Washington, D.C., California and Georgia, the program’s hands-on trainings address the many challenges beginning farmers and ranchers may face in their careers, as well as equip each leader with up-to-date technical and professional skills.
NFU’s expectations for each institute graduate is to become an inspiration to similar young entrepreneurs in their surrounding areas, and potentially become a candidate for their local or county board.
“This is an elite program, and we are excited Kyle was selected to serve in this year’s class,” Scott Blubaugh, AFR/OFU Cooperative President, said. “This program will help Kyle be a strong attribute for our organization, and also give him useful skills and tools to further his farming operation.”