BFRDP Projects

Building Place-Based Mentorships for Beginning Grain Farmers with Special Support for Beginning Women Farmers
[Progress Report]

Award Amount: $746,424
Grant Program: 2021 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Nicole Tautges
Organization: Michael Fields Agricultural Institute


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

Midwest GRIT is a peer-to-peer and professional education dissemination-based, year-long program to provide beginning grain farmers with the production, marketing, and business management resources they need to grow, market, and sell food-grade grains to their local communities in the Midwest region. Midwest GRIT delivers information through monthly webinars, bimonthly peer-to-peer networking and sharing sessions, at least 2 in-person events per year, professional grain grower conferences, direct technical assistance, and through the provision of a resource guidebook at the end of the program. The first cohort of 31 beginning farmers was convened in June 2022 and included 23 female, 7 male, and 1 nonbinary identifying participants. Twenty-six percent of the farmers in cohort 1 identified as an ethnicity or race other than white. The second cohort of 30 beginning farmers was convened in April 2023 and included 13 female, 13 male, and 4 nonbinary identifying participants. Twenty-seven percent of the farmers in cohort 2 identified as an ethnicity or race other than white. Cohort 2 is ongoing, but cohort 1 accomplishments include:

  • Five participants from Cohort 1 grew and/or marketed food-grade grains for the first time following cohort participation
  • Ninety percent of the Cohort 1 participants reported their access to peer/farmer community increased over the last year due to Midwest GRIT
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, 39% of participants awarded their gains in knowledge of growing food-grade grains as a 5, indicating that GRIT programming significantly increased their knowledge of growing food-grade grains
  • Participant also cited gains in knowledge in post-harvest handling of food-grade grains, marketing of food-grade grains, and business farming expertise

Number of Participants: 61


Promotional Materials

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Educational Materials

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Reports & Evaluations

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Delivery Area

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Individual Stories / Examples of Success