Applications are now open for NOFA Vermont Farm Beginnings®, a yearlong program for aspiring and beginning farmers that is designed to help participants launch or grow their farm business. Classes start in October with a series of in-depth business planning sessions, followed by hands-on workshops and one-on-one mentorship.
The curriculum was developed in 1996 by the Land Stewardship Project. It is now a nationally recognized curriculum used by the Farm Beginnings Collaborative that helps create new viable farm businesses. Hundreds of farmers have participated in Farm Beginnings classes with 80% of graduates still farming. NOFA-VT is the 14th organization to join the collaborative.
The business-planning sessions will be taught by Vermont-based farmers and service providers who will offer first-hand knowledge on topics such as goal-setting, land access, equipment selection, accounting, and marketing. Participants will increase their knowledge on all aspects of farm management, improve their decision-making ability, and develop a business plan for their farm or future farm.
The second half of the course is a combination of hands-on workshops and a mentorship period. Each student in the program is matched with an experienced farmer mentor that fits the student’s learning needs.
Farm Beginnings is a great option for both aspiring farmers that have farm experience and a goal of starting their own farm business and beginning farmers in the first few years of running their own business looking to improve their management skills.
To learn more about the program and to access the application, visit our website, or email Jaime Silverstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.