• 11Sep
    Apply Today for the Beginning Women Farmers Training Program in CT!

    If you are a beginning (less than ten years experience) women farmer in Connecticut and you are interested in joining the program, we are now accepting applications for the 2014/2015 session. The training begins in early November and consists of 10 all-day Saturday sessions. The first six are throughout the winter and will be held at Goodwin College in East Hartford, CT. The four remaining sessions are on on-farm at different locations throughout the state. Click HERE for an online application.

    From a recent graduate:
    All the individuals (peers and instructors/mentors) I have meet during this class have taught me something, and have helped me unearth my own self confidence in myself along with the weaknesses I struggle with. And it feels wonderful to have a small group of people who have a similar mindset or love for farming, the land, and good food. All of this has nurtured the flame and love I have for this life style I live.“-Jessica Kroeber

    The 2014/2015 dates:

    November 1, November 22, December 13, January 17, January 24, February 7, February 28, March 21, April 11, May 2, May 16 (snow date)

    While there is a small fee to join the program in the Northeast, scholarships are available for those in need of financial assistance. If you have any questions or would like to discuss the program, please contact Deb Legge, Connecticut Co-coordinator or call 203-308-2584. To learn more about the current program, past sessions and Holistic Management International, click HERE.

  • 10Sep
    Sign up now for Stateline Farm Beginnings
    The Illinois Food, Farm, & Jobs Act has called for support of programs that recruit, train, and provide technical assistance to beginning farmers in order to meet the demand for 5,000 more local farmers in Illinois by 2020. Angelic Organics Learning Center has been fulfilling that role by training farmers for the past ten years. Our Stateline Farm Beginnings® program is proud to announce the next class starting in October 2014. Click here to apply by October 1st.
  • 09Sep

    NFU Beginning Farmers Institute Holds First Session

    WASHINGTON (Sept. 8, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) Beginning Farmers Institute (BFI) participants are in Washington, D.C., this week to take part in the first session of the institute. Participants will learn financial, marketing, public speaking and planning skills.

    “It has become increasingly difficult for beginning farmers to succeed,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “That is why programs like BFI are so important, because they give beginning farmers an opportunity to learn important leadership and farm-management skills that benefit not only themselves, but also the communities and economies they support.”

    BFI participants include Nicole Vojtech of Ohio; Tracey Zink of Nebraska; Courtney Krueger of North Dakota; Chris Holman and Kriss Marion of Wisconsin; Harrison Topp of Colorado; Glen Hughes of Indiana; Erin Bailey of Washington; Rick Duvall of Illinois; Chelsea Kruse of New Hampshire; Troy Hunoff of South Dakota; Nicholas Levendofsky, Matt and Leah Ubel of Kansas.

    The selected individuals from across the nation range from cattle ranchers and grain farmers to those growing for farmers markets and urban farmers. The institute is a yearlong program and is sponsored in part by Farm Credit, CoBank, DuPont Pioneer, CHS Foundation, FUI Foundation and the NFU Foundation. More information can be found at www.NFU.org/education.


  • 04Sep

    2014 Growers’ Academy – a partner of the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition!

    6-session learning series focused on sustainable farming methods and business models

    When: September 23 – October 28, 2014: Tuesdays, 6-9 pm

    Where: Wytheville, Virginia – southwest VA. Farm Credit of the Virginias Business Classroom: 660 Pepper’s Ferry Road, Wytheville

    The Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center is now offering the popular Growers’ Academy in Wytheville. This series of courses is specifically designed to help new and transitioning agricultural businesses succeed. The learning series is focused on low-input crop production techniques and launching your own farm business. Instructors include resource professionals and farm business owners.  Topics include:

    Topics: Introduction to Whole Farm Planning; Business and Finance; Soil and Pest Management; Good Agricultural Practices & Food Safety; Marketing; Crops and Crop Planning

    This 6-session course* is $225.  Limited scholarships are available, please inquire.

    For more information and online registration, visit: http://www.cpe.vt.edu/grac/

    Or contact:  Josh Nease - Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Manager

    108 N. Jefferson Street, Suite 701, Roanoke, VA 24016; Phone: 540-553-2311 or jnease@vt.edu


  • 03Sep

    The Cornell Small Farms Program and the NE Beginning Farmers Project are hosting a 3-day training for Beginning Farmer service providers this fall.  Don’t miss your chance to attend!

    This year’s conference, Re-strategizing with advanced BF’s: Supporting scale-up and farm investment decision-making, will be at the Century House in Albany, NY from October 27-29th, 2014. This train-the-trainer conference will help you deepen your skills in supporting advanced beginning farmers and connect you with a BF service provider network that reaches across the Northeast.

    We will offer intensive workshops on Credit Readiness, Farm Financial Analysis, Labor and Equipment Decision-Making, Marketing through Wholesale Channels,and Whole Farm Planning. All trainers will also participate in Reaching Out to Underserved BF Audiences, a cultural competency training that will discuss strategies for extending the reach of BF services and programs. A summary of workshop topics and speakers can be viewed HERE.

    Through the support of a NE SARE PDP grant, workshops, hotel accommodations, and meals will be provided based on an application process.


    If your registration is accepted and confirmed, the Cornell Small Farms Program will:

    1. Cover all meal and hotel costs during the 3-day training.
    2. Provide a top-notch learning experience and connection to a resource network to help you take your BF training to a new level and an expanded audience.


    As a participant in this training, you agree to:

    1. Cover your travel costs to and from the training, as well as a nominal $50 registration fee to secure your spot.
    2. Attend and participate actively for the FULL 3 DAYS of the training, including sharing teaching methods you have developed for working with BF’s.
    3. Participate in at least one follow-up webinar through summer 2015.
    4. Assist us in documenting outcomes by using new assessment tools with your clients, responding to follow-up surveys and reporting all training outcomes through August 2016.


    We have space for 60 participants. Registration is open until filled or Wed. Oct 1st, whichever comes first. Complete the following steps:

    1. Complete pre-registration HERE
    2. Once we receive your pre-registration form, we will send you a Letter of Commitment for your supervisor to sign, and instructions for paying $50 to secure your spot.
    3. Your reservation is not complete until you have received a confirmation email from us.

    Any questions should be directed to Ryan Maher, Cornell Small Farms Program, at ryan.maher@cornell.edu.

  • 27Aug

    FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Direct Farm Ownership Loan Program – FSA, USDA

    Low-Interest Loans Can Help Producers Start or Expand Farms

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Illinois Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, (SED) Scherrie V. Giamanco announced that farmers and ranchers still have time to apply for low interest 2014 loans available through FSA’s direct farm ownership program. The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 30, 2014.

    Eligible producers can borrow up to $300,000 in direct farm ownership loans to buy or enlarge a farm, construct new farm buildings or improve structures, pay closing costs, or promote soil and water conservation and protection. The interest rate on select loans can be as low as 1.5 percent with up to 40 years to repay.

    FSA encourages all interested applicants to apply for direct farm ownership loans. For more information about the program and other loans administered by FSA, visit any FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.

  • 22Aug

    Groundswell (Ithaca, New York) Incubator Farm 2015 applications now open


    Mo Myint trellises cucumbers on his father’s plot at the Incubator Farm.

    Click HERE to download 2015 Application Materials

    We’re now accepting applications for the 2015 season at the Groundswell Incubator Farm, located in the Town of Ithaca, at EcoVillage.

    At the Farm, you can rent a quarter-acre plot that comes equipped with drip irrigation, tools and equipment including a walk-behind tractor, storage shed, 8-foot deer fence,  and a hoophouse.  Incubator Farmers also receive one-on-one mentoring from experienced farmers, and participate in a variety of  training workshops, Groundswell’s Farm Business Planning Course, and the Finger Lakes CRAFT network.

    To be considered for early-decisions, applications are due by November 21st. However applications will continue to be accepted until February 1st, 2015.  Please contact us now to get the conversation started.  Our Incubator Coordinator, Devon Van Noble, can be reached at devon@groundswellcenter.org or (607)319-5095. More…

    More information about Finding Land to Farm at: http://www.beginningfarmers.org/finding-land-to-farm/

  • 14Aug

    Practical Farmers of Iowa Beginning Farmer Update August, 2014 - We are taking applications for our Savings Incentive Program!

    Practical Farmers of Iowa is excited to announce we are once again taking applications for our Savings Incentive Program.

    Applications will be accepted now through October 3, 2014. Get an application here. Up to 25 beginning farmers will be admitted to this fifth round of programming.

    The Savings Incentive Program works by encouraging you to save up to $100 per month for two years. After 24 months and completion of all program requirements, you earn a dollar-for-dollar match on money saved up to $2,400, for a possible $4,800 to use toward the purchase of a farm asset.

    Requirements: As part of the program, participants will be paired with a mentor, with whom they must meet in-person at least three times in the first year. Participants also:
    Open and manage a savings account with Practical Farmers’ partner bank
    Create or fine-tune a business or whole-farm plan
    Attend at least four PFI events per year. PFI events include online trainings, field days, conferences, workshops and more
    Conduct quarterly reviews via email, phone or in-person with PFI staff to check on progress toward goals and program requirements
    Complete all forms and requested information on time
    Eligibility: To be eligible for the Savings Incentive Program, you must either be farming on your own now and have farmed for five or fewer years, or have some experience working for a farm business. This includes, but is not limited to: internships, apprenticeships, working as an hourly or salaried employee or working on the family farm.

    You must also reside in Iowa or farm in the state (out-of-state residents are eligible, so long as they are farming in Iowa), and be members of Practical Farmers of Iowa.

  • 13Aug

    Aspiring Illinois farmers, new growers with less than five years’ experience, commodity farmers interested in diversifying to include fruit or vegetable production, and high school and community college agriculture teachers are invited to apply now for the next session of a free training program offered through the University of Illinois crop sciences department.

    “Preparing a New Generation of Illinois Fruit and Vegetable Farmers” opened the application process for its third session on July 1. The application period will be open through October 24, 2014, or until capacity is reached. There is no fee for participants who complete the program.  Participants can apply for the program at http://www.newillinoisfarmers.org/new_generation_app.php.
    More information here: http://tinyurl.com/lxsnzlr

    Now Recruiting for program beginning December 2014! http://newillinoisfarmers.org/ and https://www.facebook.com/NewIllinoisFarmers

    Here is a link to a story that was recently published: http://www.illinoisfarmertoday.com/news/crop/diversity-provides-unique-opportunity/article_ef26ffca-e117-11e3-bff1-001a4bcf887a.html

    This program was also featured in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/05/dining/the-seeds-of-a-new-generation.html

  • 29Jul

    Minnesota Beginning Farmers Chosen as White House ‘Champions of Change’: Presidential Ceremony for Land Stewardship Project Members Ryan & Tiffany Batalden

    Southwestern Minnesota beginning farmers Ryan and Tiffany Batalden will be honored as “Champions of Change” by President Barack Obama during a White House ceremony today, beginning at 9 a.m. CDT. The Bataldens are Land Stewardship Project (LSP) members and fifth generation beginning farmers in Lamberton, Minn. Along with their three young children — Finn, Lilly and Stella — they grow certified organic corn, soybeans, oilseeds and small grains on 380 acres, raise livestock, and have a direct-market popcorn business called Patriot Pops.

    “It’s an honor for us to be selected White House Future of American Agriculture Champions of Change. It’s particularly appropriate that the White House is recognizing people out in the countryside who are thinking long and hard about the future of American agriculture,” said Ryan Batalden, who serves on the Land Stewardship Project’s Land Access Committee, which is investigating the obstacles beginning farmers face when trying to get agricultural operations established. “There are many of us who see great opportunities in agriculture, but also recognize some of the significant barriers beginning farmers face if they are to get established successfully on the land.”

    Read the full article at: http://landstewardshipproject.org/posts/628

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