WASHINGTON -- U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden announced Thursday the appointment of 20 members to serve on the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. National Farmers Union Director of Education Maria Miller and New England Farmers Union member Michelle Conner were selected to sit on the committee. The committee will provide guidance to the secretary on expanding opportunities that will help beginning farmers and ranchers succeed in agriculture.
“Beginning farmers and ranchers are important to NFU as well as the entire agriculture industry,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “We are happy to be represented by Maria and Michelle on the committee to ensure that programs developed will meet the demands of our members and all U.S. family farmers and ranchers.”
The committee will provide public and industry perspectives on USDA strategies, policies, and programs to broadly capture the many issues relevant to beginning farmers and ranchers including but not limited to opportunities in local food systems, generational transfers, training and credit.
“Maria’s background and current work with NFU’s Beginning Farmer Institute will allow her to provide meaningful insight to the committee,” said Johnson. “We are also happy to have a member from New England included on the committee. This opportunity will benefit all Farmers Union members.'
The committee's upcoming meeting will be announced in the Federal Register prior to the meeting and will include the meeting date, details and topics for discussion. Information will also be available on the committee's website at: http://www.outreach.usda.gov/committees/ACBFR.htm.
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.