We are providing a unique opportunity for individuals who are contemplating starting a farm operation to receive valuable training through the Beginning Farmer Institute (BFI). The program is also open to those in our region who have been farming for less than ten years, and is designed to answer the questions new farmers have, and more importantly, to share expertise and address questions that people do not always think of asking when they begin farming. Applicants accepted into the 2012 program will attend two separate education sessions, one to be held this summer, the other in September in Washington, D.C. The program will include topics such as business planning, understanding USDA programs, tax and record keeping, and marketing, and will blend classroom time with hands-on experience and tours to farms employing successful, innovative approaches. A $25 registration fee is required for accepted candidates, which will cover materials, transportation lodging and meals. This program is supported by Farm Credit and Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE). The application deadline is 4/30/2011 for this year’s program. More information and the program application can be found by visiting http://newenglandfarmersunion.org/beginningfarmers.html I am available to answer any questions - please contact John Ferris, New England Farmers Union’s Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or (413) 548-6930.New England Farmers Union would like to let you know about a program that is available to beginning farmers in New England through New England Farmers Union.