Beginning Farmer and Rancher Farm Bill Fly-in

On Jan. 28 and 29, beginning farmers and ranchers from California, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Iowa, and Montana were in Washington DC to take part in a Beginning Farmer and Rancher Fly-in.

The event was designed to influence members of the 2008 farm bill conference committee to support two important beginning farmer programs in the final farm bill. These programs are the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual Development Account Program.

Pictured left to right, Daniel Rosmann, Harlan IA; John Leonard, El Rino OK; Jacob Cowgill, Big Sandy MT.
Not only should they be included, but they also must receive funding to be viable. “We are in the last stretch of the farm bill debate, and we think it is imperative that the final bill include these programs to assist a new generation of farmers and ranchers onto the land,” said Traci Bruckner with the Center for Rural Affairs.

Jacob Cowgill, a beginning farmer from Big Sandy, Montana, dreams of making farming a full-time venture. “Our visits keyed in on securing funding for beginning farmer training, education, and mentoring efforts, as well as establishing the matched savings account program called the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual Development Account,” said Jacob. “Such a program would enable me to save money to invest in my farming operation.”

The fly-in was sponsored by the Center for Rural Affairs, California Farmlink, the Land Stewardship Project, and the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. Farmers and ranchers participating in the fly-in included Daniel Rosmann from Harlan, Iowa; John Leonard from El Reno, Oklahoma; Jacob Cowgill from Big Sandy, Montana; Brittany Whitmire from North Carolina; and David Silveira, Jesus Escobar, and Steve Schwartz from California.

Contact: Traci Bruckner for more information, 402.687.2103 x1016 or tracib@cfra.org.

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