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Young farmers have until Wednesday to submit an application for this unique mentoring program.

April 13, 2015

2 Min Read

Editor's note: The deadline to apply for the 2017 class of Cultivating Master Farmers has been moved back to Wednesday, April 15. The previous online application did not work. Please click here for the new application. If you previously submitted an application, email me at [email protected] to check on its status.

Sometimes the best learning method is a conversation with someone who's been there, done that.

Since 2005, the Cultivating Master Farmers program has provided just that, expert farm and family guidance from folks who have walked the walk. This unique mentoring program links young farmers with a wealth of information in Prairie Farmer's Master Farmers.


Classes of approximately 10 young farmers (21 to 35 years old) and 10 Master Farmers are selected for the two-year program, which features six ag-related events. The Class of 2015, which graduates in July, visited Chicago for a firsthand look at changing consumer perceptions. They also heard from acclaimed speakers on estate/succession planning, marketing strategies and managing working relationships with family members.

Like previous classes, incoming CMF members will have plenty of opportunity to hear from a top-notch slate of speakers. However, the real backbone of the program is the round-table discussion, where young farmers learn from Master Farmers and vice versa. Upon the completion of the two-year program, most participants have developed lasting relationships that continue to yield solid farm advice even after the program's conclusion.

Application requirements
Young farmers have until April 15, 2015 to apply for an opening in the Class of 2017. Eligible applicants must meet the following criteria:
•Reside in Illinois.
•Between the ages of 21 to 35 as of Dec. 31, 2014.
•Actively engaged in production agriculture.
•Willing to actively participate in the two-year program.
•The program is geared toward couple participation.

The Class of 2017 will be selected in April. The inaugural meeting will be held July 7, 2015 at Farm Credit Services of Illinois in Mahomet. The CMF application is available here.

The CMF program is sponsored by 1st Farm Credit Services, Farm Credit Services of Illinois, GROWMARK, Illinois Farm Bureau, Monsanto, and Prairie Farmer.

If you want more information about the program, e-mail Josh Flint at [email protected].

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