Young farmers: Apply for Cultivating Master Farmers now!Young farmers: Apply for Cultivating Master Farmers now!
Since 2005, the Cultivating Master Farmers mentorship program has paired young farmers and Master Farmers to build relationships, answer questions and elevate farming operations. Young farmers: Now is the time to apply.
February 23, 2017
Are you a young farmer with questions about your farming operation? Questions about your farming relationship with family? Questions about how to balance your work and your family and your community obligations?
If so, the Cultivating Master Farmer program might be right for you.
Now in its 12th year, Cultivating Master Farmers provides answers to those questions and more, all from expert farmers who have walked the walk. This unique mentoring program links young farmers with a wealth of information from Prairie Farmer 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, including a summer tour. The Class of 2017, which graduated in July, toured the St. Louis Science Center, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Growmark’s Bussen Fertilizer Spur on the Mississippi River and The Maschhoffs, where they met with agriculture professionals at that company. They also heard from acclaimed speakers on estate andsuccession planning, diversification on the farm, marketing strategies, how to give back, and managing working relationships with family members.
Like previous classes, incoming CMF members will have plenty of opportunities to hear from a top-notch slate of speakers. However, the real backbone of the program is the round-table discussion and relationship building, where young farmers learn from Master Farmers and vice versa. Upon the completion of the two-year program, participants will have developed lasting relationships that continue to yield solid farm advice even after the program’s conclusion.
Young farmers have until March 31 to apply for an opening in the Class of 2019. Eligible applicants must meet the following criteria:
• reside in Illinois
• between the ages of 21 to 35 as of Dec. 31, 2016
• actively engaged in production agriculture
• willing to commit to actively participating in the two-year program
• couples encouraged to apply
The Class of 2019 will be selected in April. The inaugural meeting will be held July 19 at Farm Credit Illinois in Mahomet. The CMF application is available on select sponsors’ websites, including ilfb.org, growmark.com, 1stfarmcredit.com, farmcreditil.com and PrairieFarmer.com, or email Prairie Farmer editor Holly Spangler at [email protected]. The CMF program is sponsored by 1st Farm Credit Services, Farm Credit Illinois, Growmark, Illinois Farm Bureau, Monsanto and Prairie Farmer.
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