Beginning Farmer

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Each NOFA chapter dedicates programming to aspiring and just-starting farmers, collectively referred to as Beginner Farmers. Through a project supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant # 2010-49400-21847, NOFA-NY, NOFA-VT, NOFA/Mass, NOFA-NJ, CT NOFA and NOFA-NH have been able to explore the needs of Beginner Farmers in their states and expand their programs to better support and serve those needs. Particular emphasis is placed on improving Beginner Farmers' access to education and peer support and networking.

This education and networking happens through:

  • Workshop tracks at each state's winter conference
  • Scholarships to Annual Conferences
  • Year-round Beginner Farmer gatherings, farm tours, social events and summit meetings
  • Apprenticeship and mentorship opportunities

Beginner Farmer Programming is a coordinated regional effort. The chapters of NOFA aim to attract farmers to the Northeast to learn to farm and to provide the environment for this to happen. Furthermore, the NOFA chapters support these Beginner Farmers as they move beyond the apprenticeship and on-farm learning phase into starting up and maintaining successful farm enterprises. Each chapter administers distinct programming to better meet the educational and networking needs within their state.

Contact your local NOFA chapter to learn about beginning farmer opportunities in your state.

Beginning Farmer Programs are supported by The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant # 2011-49400-30510.