The Cornell Small Farms Program announces open registration for its 2016-2017 season of Small Farm Online Beginning Farmer Courses building the technical and business skills of farmers. Expert farmers and extension educators guide students through the latest research-based information to help improve efficiency and increase profit on small farms.
Students connect with other farmers, work on farm plans, and gain practical tips without leaving their home. Course content can be accessed anywhere with a high-speed internet connection.
Most beginning farmer courses are six weeks long. Each week features an evening webinar and follow-up readings, videos, and activities. Students and their instructors connect through online forums and live chat. If you aren’t able to attend the webinars in real-time, they are always recorded for later viewing.
Are there online beginning farmer courses for me? From aspiring to experienced farmers, there is a course for nearly everyone. If you’re just getting started exploring farming as a career, BF 101: Starting at Square One and BF 102: Markets and Profits, were designed with you in mind. For those with at least a few years of farm management experience, check out BF 204: QuickBooks for Farmers and BF 203: Holistic Financial Planning to take your skills to the next level. There’s a handy chart on our course homepage to direct you to the right courses for your experience level.
Each course is $250, which entitles two people from a farm to attend. Discounts for early sign up and multiple course sign ups are available.
Qualify for a 0% interest loan! Participants who complete all requirements of one or more online courses are eligible to be endorsed for a 0% interest loan of up to $10,000 through Kiva Zip.
Check out the listings below for more information on a particular course and the instructors. Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about registration, payment, and computer requirements.
Course Calendar 2016 – 2017
Beginning Farmer Courses Starting Week of Sept 26 – Oct 31
- BF 101: Starting at Square One
- BF 130: Poultry Production
- BF 150: Farm Woodlot Management
- BF 204: QuickBooks for Farmers
Beginning Farmer Courses Starting Week of Nov 7 – Dec 15
- BF 110: Soil Health
- BF 122: Berry Production
- BF 151:Woodland Shiitake Mushroom Cultivation
- BF 201: Effective Marketing for Busy Farmers
- BF 231: Grazing Management
Beginning Farmer Courses Starting Week of Jan 16 – Feb 20
- BF 102: Markets and Profits
- BF 107: Climate Smart Farming
- BF 120: Veggie Farming 1 – From Planning to Planting
- BF 152: Introduction to Maple Syrup Production
- BF 203: Holistic Financial Planning
- BF 223: Tree Fruit Production
- BF 232: Commercial Sheep Production
Beginning Farmer Courses Starting Week of Feb 27 – April 3
- BF 103: Taking Care of Business
- BF 121: Veggie Farming 2 – From Season-Long Care to Harvest
- BF 153: Oyster Mushroom Cultivation
- BF 202: Writing a Business Plan
- BF 220: Season Extension with High Tunnels
The Small Farms Update is intended as a resource for farmers and agricultural service providers in New York and the Northeast, and is provided to you by Cornell Small Farms Program. We help farmers get expert assistance to facilitate all phases of small farm business development, from initial growth to optimization to maturity. The Cornell Small Farm Program is a joint effort of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Cornell Cooperative Extension.