In The News


DGA Approved as National Vendor for FSA's Borrower Training Program

Farm Service Agency, which requires financial management training for its beginning farmer loan agreements, has approved DGA to provide that training nationwide.

February 20 2020


Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship (DGA) is pleased to announce that Farm Service Agency (FSA) has approved its multi-state application to conduct financial management and production training nationwide. FSA works with local and national vendors to help borrowers develop and improve skills needed to run a successful farming operation. Financial management training by an approved vendor is required for FSA’s beginning farmer loan agreements .

DGA is a 501c3 organization with a formal Apprenticeship in managed-grazing dairy production that combines on-farm employment and training with related coursework and networking opportunities. Approved in 2012 as an FSA vendor for Wisconsin, DGA has since registered as a National Apprenticeship under the U.S. Department of Labor, expanded into 12 additional states, and opened its own online school, Managed Grazing Innovation Center (MGIC) , which offers classes to Apprentices and the public.

In the 12-week Farm Business Management class, students are introduced to business planning techniques, record-keeping practices, and tools for charting progress toward personal and business goals.

DGA graduate Matthew Keesling says that the financial management training he received as an Apprentice has been crucial for his business planning and decision making. He notes, “I feel confident knowing that lenders recognize my efforts as a beginning farmer toward future success.”

Farm Business Management may be taken as a stand-alone course or as part of the “Managed Grazing Dairy” certificate, which is core curriculum for Apprentices and now available to everyone. The class is offered both Fall Semester and Spring Semester.

“We look forward to making this FSA approved training more accessible,” says MGIC Director Jamie Washburn. “Whether they are beginning farmers or not, producers need financial management skills to make decisions that will improve the profitability and resilience of their business.”

Notice of national FSA approval of DGA has been provided to State Executive Director of applicable states and vendor agreements will be made between DGA and individual state FSA offices.

DGA and MGIC are supported in part by a 2017 Educational Enhancement Team (EET) grant from USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) and by other funding partners, industry sponsors, and individuals.

Joseph Tomandl, III, DGA Executive Director, 715-560-0389

Jamie Washburn, MGIC School Director, 618-559-8300

Shop / Donate