MU Extension receives grant to grow beginning farmers, ranchers program

  • Published: Monday, Oct. 1, 2018

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension will receive a $432,747 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) grant through the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

The grant runs September 2018 to August 2021, says MU Extension BFRDP director Karen Funkenbusch. MU Extension is one of 36 BFRDP grant recipients.

The grant will lead to creating and sustaining beginning farmers and ranchers in Missouri, Funkenbusch says. Teams of experts plan to use educational approaches to improve land access, business planning, mentorship and farm management to grow new and beginning farmers and ranchers.

MU Extension partners with the Missouri Brain Injury Association and the Franciscan Farm to fill in the gaps for beginning farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, military veteran farmers, and farmers with disabilities and brain injury.

The project will offer experiential learning for beginning farmers through workshops, Grow Your Farm courses, farmer learning circles, farm walkabouts, technical one-on-one assistance and an internship program.

For more information, contact Funkenbusch at 573-884-1268 or [email protected].

Photo available for this release:
Members of the USDA NIFA Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program team in Missouri. Front row, from left, Debi Kelly, MU Extension horticulture specialist; Karen Funkenbusch, MU Extension state health and safety specialist; Alyssa Weissman, Courtney Stevens and Maureen Cunningham of the Brain Injury Association. Back row, from left, Keith Heerlein, farm coordinator, Franciscans for Earth; Rachel Hopkins, MU Extension county engagement specialist; Becki Mott, program evaluator, MU Extension; Tom Pitchford, accounting and fiscal support, MU Extension; Sister Cheryl Kemner, assistant minister, Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help; and Nicole Heerlein, director, Franciscans for Earth.

Writer: Linda Geist

Media Contact

Karen Funkenbusch

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