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Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers (ACBFR)

About Membership

The advisory committee is comprised of 20 members representing the following groups: (1) Farm Service Agency (FSA); (2) State beginning farmer programs; (3) commercial lenders; (4) private nonprofit organizations with active beginning farmer programs; (5) the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service; (6) community colleges or other educational institutions with demonstrated experience in training beginning farmers or ranchers; (7) other entities or persons providing lending or technical assistance for qualified beginning farmers or ranchers; and (8) farmers and ranchers.

The statute requires representatives from the first seven groups to be included on the Committee. Members serve a two year term.

Members 2016 - 2018

The following individuals will serve on the committee through April 2018:

Farmers and Ranchers
  • Ms. Emily Best, General Manager, Tuscarora Organic Cooperative from Pennsylvania
  • Mr. J.D Booker, Owner, The Booker Farm, LLC from Alabama
  • Ms. Katherine Danner, President, Longley Farms, Inc. from Illinois
  • Mr. David Hanson, Owner, Farmland from Minnesota
  • Mr. Guido Riccardo Frosini, Owner/Operator, True Grass Farms from California
  • Ms. Rhonda Benton, Owner/Operator, Rhema Ranch from Alabama
State Beginning Farmer/Rancher Programs
  • Mr. Steven Chiang, Director, Agribusiness Incubator Program Director, Go Farm Hawaii from Hawaii
  • Mr. Caleb Plyler, Owner, Charolaise Herd Farms from Arkansas
Farm Service Agency and Lenders
  • Mr. Timothy M. Gossman, Farm Loan Officer/Senior Vice President, Root River State Bank from Minnesota
  • Mr. Chris Beyerhelm, Associate Administrator for Operations and Management,
  • Farm Service Agency from Washington, DC
  • Mr. Peter Scheffert, Vice President, Community Resource Lending from Minnesota
Private Nonprofit Organizations
  • Ms. Adrienne Farrar Houël, President and CEO, Greater Bridgeport Community Enterprises, Inc. from Connecticut
  • Mr. Chukuo Thao, Executive Director, National Hmong American Farmers Inc., from California
  • Mr. Javier Zamora, Owner, JSM Organics from California
Cooperatives, Extensions, Higher Education
  • Ms. Etaferahu Takele, Director Riverside County; and Area Agricultural Economist in Farm Management from California
  • Dr. Duncan M. Chembezi, Professor and Extension Economist from Alabama A&M University in Madison, Alabama,
  • Mr. James Hafer, Professor, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences Program Chief, Dull Knife College, Montana
Beginning Farmer and Rancher Assistance Organizations
  • Mr. Gary Matteson, VP of Young, Beginning, Small Farmer Programs for the Farm Credit Council from Washington, DC
  • Mr. Thomas Spaulding, President, Angelic Organics Association from Illinois
  • Mr. Michael Faison, Founder, Milton`s Local from Virginia