Beginning Farmer Support

Beginning Farmer Network of Massachusetts
The Beginning Farmer Network of Massachusetts (BFN/Mass) is a collaborative group of farmers and farm service providers dedicated to beginning farmer success in Massachusetts.  By creating more space for networking and collaboration amongst Beginning Farmers and Service Providers we hope to bring together people who want to work on similar issues, who want to share information and lessons learned, and who can inspire each other by the work they are already doing.

Cornell’s Northeast Beginning Farmer Project
Offers a number of online resources, including farm planning information, an online Beginning Farmer Course, a forum, and video presentations from experienced farmers.

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources’ Agricultural Business Training Program
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Agricultural Business Training Program responds to the planning needs of farmers, through training and technical assistance, allowing farmers to develop flexible business plans that address reaching markets, loans or investment, and working effectively with the towns in which they are located all while making a living wage.

The New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
The New Entry Sustainable Farming Project assists people with limited resources who have an interest in small-scale commercial agriculture to begin farming in Massachusetts, and works to support the sustainability of the region’s agriculture, build long term economic self-reliance and food security among participants and their communities, and expand access to locally-grown foods.

New England Small Farm Institute 
New farmers may be new to farming, or they may have grown up on a farm. New farmers may be young, but they may just as likely be career changers or retirees. New farmers may be exploring the idea of starting a farm, actively planning to start a farm, or be in the first years of operation. The USDA defines beginning farmers as anyone in the first 10 years of operating a farm.

NOFA/Mass Farmer Mentoring Program
The NOFA/Mass Farmer Mentoring Program pairs seasoned growers with people who have some farming experience but aren’t yet running their own farms. It is a 12-month commitment of support from NOFA/Mass to both the mentor and the mentee. The program will offer new farmers the opportunity to expand their educational horizons, and it will offer experienced farmers the opportunity to share their knowledge with and help shape a new farmer.
The Start2Farm site and program are a project of the National Agricultural Library in partnership with the American Farm Bureau Federation. Start2Farm maintains a curriculum and training clearinghouse for new and beginning farmers, and organizes a national beginning farmers and ranchers conference.

Virtual Grange
The Virtual Grange is the first of its kind—a comprehensive online site where beginning, sustainability-minded farmers can find technical tutorials, learn about innovations in sustainable farming and connect with mentors and peers. It is by farmers and for farmers: while maintained by Stone Barns Center, with resources from its own farmers and apprentices, much of the site’s content is contributed by the broader community of farmers.

Welcome Campus Farmers!
This online community is dedicated to helping college students start farms and gardens on their campuses, whether you’re still in the dreaming stage or about to harvest your first crops. Farming is hard work, but getting your farm started doesn’t have to be!

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