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Large Minnesota Presence in National Program
By Communications Director

ST. PAUL (May 9, 2013) – National Farmers Union (NFU) has announced twelve participants for their 2013 Beginning Farmers Institute (BFI), four of which are Minnesotans: Eric Hoese of Mayer; Carsten Thomas of Moorhead; and Brent Krohn and Bryce Krohn of Nicollet.

“The BFI program targets young family famers and will hone their leadership and farming skills by showing them the tools they will need to make it a go; and give them the resources necessary for their farming journey,” said Minnesota Farmers Union President Doug Peterson. “I congratulate the four Minnesota members for their inclusion in the BFI program and look forward to working with them as the next generation of family farmers.”

Each participant chooses focus areas, and tailors their goals directly to their farming practices.

  • Carsten Thomas of Moorhead will focus on transitioning to family organic farming while selling directly to consumers through buying clubs and gourmet restaurants. He also plans to raise food-grade soybeans and cattle, and gain insights on farmers’ market retail.
  • Eric Hoese of Mayer will focus on transitioning a dairy and grain farm.
  • Brothers Brent and Bryce Krohn of Nicollet will focus on row crop production on their family grain and hog farm, and also the business aspects of a partnership between brothers.

 The BFI provides an opportunity for beginning farmers to acquire leadership and farm management skills. It concentrates on building confidence in beginning farmers and farm couples, and additionally encourages them to learn, and apply leadership abilities to become actively involved in community organizations.

 Other people who will be joining the Minnesotans in the Beginning Farm Institute include: Shannan Tenze of Colorado; Maggie Mills of Maryland; Paul Kanning of Montana; Josh Norby, James Hansen and Loretta Hansen of North Dakota; Amanda West of Virginia; and Jennifer Gibson of Wisconsin.