Wildflower in foreground with field behind, and a white farmhouse in far background
Conservation fellows

Beginning Farmer Conservation Fellowship Program

Across Nebraska, farmers and ranchers are implementing working lands conservation practices, such as cropping, rotational grazing, and pollinator habitats. These practices are vital to the health of our soil and environment while producing the food we need.

The Beginning Farmer Conservation Fellowship program was created to provide beginning farmers with hands-on and technical skills to implement conservation practices and facilitate conservation workshops.

This initiative began in 2022 with eight individuals, plus mentors.

Beginning Farmer Conservation Fellowship program 2023

The second cohort of the Beginning Farmer Conservation Fellowship program begins in February 2023. This opportunity is open to 10 beginning farmers thanks to host Center for Rural Affairs along with project partners Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society (NSAS), Big Muddy Urban Farm (BMUF), and Metro Community College (MCC).

The application period is now closed.

Fellows must farm within the state of Nebraska and must be able to attend a one-day workshop in Aurora, Nebraska, on Feb. 2, 2023. This class will coincide with the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society's annual Local Food + Healthy Farms Conference.

Farmers of underserved audiences are highly encouraged to apply, such as BIPOC farmers, LGBTQ+, women, beginners, and veterans.

For more information, contact Justin Carter at 402.870.1133.

If you are a current farmer and passionate about supporting the next generation of farmers, apply to be a mentor.

About the fellowship

Beginning Farmer Conservation Fellows complete coursework in conservation programs and practices, climate change adaptation and impacts, racial equity, and leadership.

Fellows will receive the following:

  • Individual mentorship from an experienced farmer implementing conservation practices. 
  • Classroom instruction on federal conservation programs and practices, climate change impacts and mitigation, understanding and addressing racial equity, local leadership opportunities and facilitation.
  • Funding to attend three conservation field days or educational events.
  • $2,000 in funding to implement a conservation practice on their own land as part of their final conservation project.
  • Assistance from the Center, NSAS, BMUF, and MCC staff throughout the fellowship.

Fellows will be expected to:

  • Develop an on-farm conservation plan with the guidance of their mentors and through instruction received during the fellowship.
  • Develop a conservation project proposal and budget, submit to the Center for approval, and implement the project on their farm.
  • Host a small tour of their own land to present on the implemented conservation practice to their mentors, project partners, and other beginning farmers.

Stipends amounting to a total of $2,000 will be provided to fellows to cover all travel and lost work hours during in-person meetings over the duration of the fellowship.

Meet the 2022 fellows

Kelsey Jones
Hoskins, Nebraska
Meet Kelsey 

Kelly Alsup 
Omaha, Nebraska
Meet Kelly

Tricey Chea
Omaha, Nebraska
Meet Tricey

Jazz Marr
Omaha, Nebraska
Meet Jazz

Katie Bettin
Omaha, Nebraska
Meet Katie

Peter David
Omaha, Nebraska
Meet Peter

Mariel Barreras
Blair, Nebraska
Meet Mariel 

Patricia Pinto
Omaha, Nebraska
Meet Patricia 

Become a mentor

Support the next generation of farmers by becoming a mentor.

The success of our Beginning Farmer Conservation fellows has a lot to do with our mentors. As a mentor, you have invaluable skills and experiences in conservation and farming and so much more.

If you are looking to help shape the next generation of farmers and are willing to share your wealth of knowledge, we hope you apply to be one of our mentors.

Some of the qualities we are looking for:

  • Experience implementing conservation practices such as cover cropping, rotational grazing, agroforestry, installing native grasses, etc.
  • Some knowledge of local, state, or federal conservation programs such as Conservation Reserve Program, Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Stewardship Program, etc.
  • A desire to teach and guide a new farmer in implementing a practice or beginning their operation.
  • A willingness to meet with their fellow at least four times a year for on-farm visits.

The program provides a stipend of $1,000 to mentors for visiting with their fellows at least four times throughout the mentorship program term between March 2023 and February 2024.

To apply, click here.

For questions or more information, contact Meg Jackson, NSAS program coordinator at programcoordinator@sustainablenebraska.org or 402.235.6743.

Programa de Becarios para la Conservación de Agricultores Principiantes

En todo Nebraska, los agricultores y ganaderos están implementando prácticas de conservación de tierras de trabajo, como cultivos, pastoreo rotativo y hábitats de polinizadores. Estas prácticas son vitales para la salud de nuestro suelo y medio ambiente mientras se producen los alimentos que necesitamos.

El Programa de Becarios para la Conservación de Agricultores Principiantes fue creado para proporcionar a los agricultores principiantes habilidades prácticas y técnicas para implementar prácticas de conservación y facilitar talleres de conservación.

Esta iniciativa comenzó en el año 2022 con ocho personas, además de mentores.

El segundo grupo del programa de becarios para la conservación de agricultores principiantes comienza en febrero del 2023. Esta oportunidad está abierta para 10 agricultores principiantes gracias al anfitrión Center for Rural Affairs junto con los socios de proyecto Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society (Sociedad de Agricultura Sostenible de Nebraska NSAS), Big Muddy Urban Farm (BMUF) y Metro Community College (MCC).

La ventana de solicitud a cerrado.

Los becarios deben cultivar dentro del estado de Nebraska y deben asistir a un taller de un día en Aurora, Nebraska, el día 2 de febrero del 2023. Esta clase coincidirá con la Conferencia anual de Alimentos Locales + Granjas Saludables de la Sociedad de Agricultura Sostenible de Nebraska.

Se recomienda encarecidamente a los agricultores de las audiencias desatendidas que presenten su solicitud, como agricultores BIPOC, LGBTQ+, mujeres, principiantes y veteranos.

Para más información, comuníquese con Justin Carter al 402.870.1133

Si usted es un agricultor actual y le apasiona apoyar a la próxima generación de agricultores, solicite ser un mentor.

Feature photo by Sarah Nizzi

Sobre la beca

Los becarios de conservación de agricultores principiantes completan cursos en programas y prácticas de conservación, adaptación e impactos del cambio climático, equidad racial y liderazgo.

Los becarios recibirán lo siguiente:

  • Tutoría individual de un agricultor experimentado que implementa prácticas de conservación.
  • Instrucción en el aula sobre programas y prácticas federales de conservación; impactos y mitigación del cambio climático; comprensión y tratamiento de la equidad racial; y oportunidades de liderazgo local y facilitación.
  • Financiamiento para asistir a tres días de campo de conservación o eventos educativos.
  • $2,000 en fondos para implementar una práctica de conservación en su propio terreno como parte de su proyecto final de conservación.
  • Asistencia del personal del Centro, la Sociedad de Agricultura Sostenible de Nebraska (NSAS), Big Muddy Urban Farm (BMUF) y Metropolitan Community College (MCC) durante toda la beca.

Se espera que los becarios:

  • Desarrollen un plan de conservación en la finca con la guía de sus mentores y mediante la instrucción recibida durante la beca.
  • Desarrollen una propuesta de proyecto de conservación y un presupuesto, enviarlo al Centro para su aprobación e implementar el proyecto en su finca.
  • Organicen un pequeño recorrido por su propio terreno para presentar la práctica de conservación implementada a sus mentores, socios del proyecto y otros agricultores principiantes.

Se proporcionarán pagos por un total de $2,000 a los becarios para cubrir todos los viajes y las horas de trabajo perdidas durante las reuniones en persona durante la duración de la beca.

Conozca a los becarios 2022

Kelsey Jones
Hoskins, Nebraska
Conozca a Kelsey

Kelly Alsup 
Omaha, Nebraska
Conozca a Kelly

Tricey Chea
Omaha, Nebraska
Conozca a Tricey

Jazz Marr
Omaha, Nebraska
Conozca a Jazz

Katie Bettin
Omaha, Nebraska
Conozca a Katie

Peter David
Omaha, Nebraska
Conozca a Peter

Mariel Barreras
Blair, Nebraska
Conozca a Mariel

Patricia Pinto
Omaha, Nebraska
Conozca a Patricia