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GreenStone Pilots Program to Help Mentor Young Farmers
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Eight mentor and mentee pairs are part of the yearlong program.

GreenStone Pilots Program to Help Mentor Young Farmers

GreenStone Farm Credit Services recently launched the Farm Forward Mentorship program, pairing young, beginning and small farmers with experienced mentors. The yearlong program will facilitate conversations and experiences to help propel new farmers forward in their careers and was developed in coordination with GreenStone's 100th anniversary. 

"We recognize that starting a career in farming can be challenging," said GreenStone President and CEO, Dave Armstrong. "Today's farmers are American agriculture's greatest asset. The scope of their knowledge goes far beyond the field."  

The program officially launched for the eight mentor/mentee pairings in early 2016 with a training session in East Lansing. Throughout the year, the program includes several coordinated conversations and site visits to mentor and mentee farms, all designed to foster conversations around business areas they have prioritized. Some key areas of focus will include: creating an effective business plan, managing risk, utilizing resources and managing day-to-day operations. While the young farmers learn new skills to manage their businesses, the mentors are also exposed to new ideas and gain experience in the art of mentorship.

Professional business coaches and mentoring consultants will facilitate the mentorship process and guide the participants throughout the year. Carl Jessen, former GreenStone President and CEO, currently of Jessen Coaching, LLC and Susan Combs, Coaching & Consulting, LLC will lead the group through the mentorship program.

"GreenStone is committed to advancing agriculture - today and tomorrow," said Armstrong. "The Farm Forward Mentorship program supports young professionals in agriculture and demonstrates GreenStone's commitment to rural communities extends beyond providing financial products and services."