Exploring the Small Farm Dream has been offered as a course since 2000. Created to meet a need NESFI identified in its own backyard, the course has since been adopted by service providers in several states and in Canada. They, too, have found that the course provides an excellent framework to help new farmers assess their skills and interests, learn the realities of farm business ownership, and become connected to local resources. NESFI provides train the trainer sessions for new course sponsors and instructors, a course delivery guide, and support through this website. For information about joining the network of course providers, click here.
The decision-making workbook was originally created to support the classes. To meet the needs of “Explorers” who could not attend classes, the workbook was later re-designed to stand on its own. Since then, service providers have successfully used the workbook in a variety of ways in their work with new farmers:
To screen applicants to farm incubator or other programs that will require a large investment of resources in the farmer; In one-on-one coaching; In small peer groups; As required reading or a recommended resource in other ag business courses
Both classroom participants and individual workbook users are supported through the Exploring the Small Farm Dream workbook page and other resources in the For New Farmers section of this website. Click here to find a PowerPoint presentation for new farmers that outlines the steps in the Exploring the Small Farm Dream decision-making process.
Individual copies of the workbook can be ordered through NESFI’s Bookstore. To order multiple copies for courses, email email@example.com.
|Background of the Course|
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|Resources for Sponsors and Instructors|