New Farm Beginnings Farmer Training Course in Hudson Valley, NY

Hawthorne Valley Farm in Ghent, NY, will be offering a farmer training program beginning in October 2009, called Hudson Valley Farm Beginnings®.  This program will include nine classroom sessions in on-farm goal setting, strategic and business planning, marketing, and financial management, for those interested in developing or expanding farming enterprises. Hudson Valley Farm Beginnings is farmer led and farmer taught so participants will gain access to many local and regional farmer-mentor colleagues during the classroom sessions and during four additional field days at local, sustainably managed farms.  After completing a fully articulated and written business plan, participants will be able to have the plan reviewed by a farmer-mentor of their choosing.

They will be bringing apprentices, farmers, landowners and entrepreneurs together to help them all work toward making their agricultural dreams a reality. Hudson Valley Farm Beginnings is a step in this direction. This course is based on curricula developed by the Land Stewardship Project and Angelic Organic’s Learning Center, programs which have graduated over 500 farm entrepreneurs in past years. To learn more, read on...

Hudson Valley Farm Beginnings will help all those interested in sustainable farming practices to succeed by focusing on:

  • Goal setting
  • Sound financial management
  • Strategic business planning
  • Access to support networks and colleagues

Are you an experienced apprentice with 2-5 seasons of farming under your belt?

Are you an experienced farmer looking to expand your farming enterprise or to transition to more sustainable methods?

Are you a landowner or a 2nd career farming entrepreneur looking to begin a farming enterprise?

Hudson Valley Farm Beginnings will allow you to build upon your current skills and will help you to complete a fully articulated business and strategic plan to grow and develop your farm enterprise. Tap into local and regional farming networks, learn how to procure farmland and credit and become part of an ongoing community of Northeast farmer-mentors.


  • Clarifying your values: Setting personal and strategic goals.
  • Analyzing your situation: Strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.
  • How to manage your most important asset: your land.
  • Creating a Business Plan.
  • Marketing your products.
  • Distribution options and how to develop a pricing strategy.
  • Assembling the financial data: budgeting and your beliefs about money.
  • Land Access and Tenure: Lease agreements.

Local and Regional Presenters and panelists include:

Roxbury Farm, Monkshood Nursery, Little Seed Gardens, Hawthorne Valley Farm, Miller’s Crossing, Markristo Farm, Red Fire Farm, Brookfield Farm, Windflower Farm, plus many others. As well as: Extension specialists, ecologists, farm transition professionals and others with relevant expertise drawn from all over New England.


Hudson Valley Farm Beginnings is offered by application to 15 participants on a yearly basis.

The cost is $1200 for the full course + certificate.

Scholarships are available, the class meets bi-monthly from October-March.

E-mail: for application procedures + information. Spaces are limited. Deadline for application is mid august so get your application in soon!

Hawthorne Valley Farm

327 Route 21 C

Ghent, New York 12075

518-672-7500, extension 105

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