Welcome to Beginning Farmers! Your online resource on how to start a farm, planning a new farm, funding resources and finding land to start your farm on. We cover all areas of farming from raising chickens and goats to mushroom production, and urban farms to business farming. Internships and employment opportunities posted regularly.
Registration is open for the UMass Online Sustainable Food and Farming Certificate Program
We are pleased to welcome you to consider enrolling in the 15-credit Online Sustainable Food and Farming Certificate Programoffered by the UMass Amherst Stockbridge School of Agriculture. Registration for our second summer session is now open and the first class starts on July 8 - but you will get access to the class on July 1 to check it out once you are registered. You can take online classes at whatever pace that works for you. Some folks have completed 15 credits in two semesters... others are still plugging away after several years. Still others simply select a course or two of interest and leave it at that. It's up to you.
COST: online classes in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture cost $482 per credit. Most classes are 3 credits unless otherwise indicated below.
You may register for individual classes by going to the course schedule page linked below and finding "register here" on the class page that interests you or going to the CPE web page here: How to enroll. Unless you are already accepted into the online A.S. or B.S. degree program, you should enroll as a "non-degree" student. If this is your first class, you will need to fill out a form to receive a UMass ID number. It requires a bit of patience and persistence....
Credits earned toward the 15-credit Online Sustainable Food and Farming Certificate may also be counted toward our 60-credit online Associate of Science degree orfully onlineBachelor of Sciencesdegree at UMass... or will transfer to other colleges and universities. If you want to learn more about the A.S. or B.S. degree programs, please feel free to contact the Online Degree Program Manager Renee Ciulla at email@example.com.
Please let me know if you have any questions... and thanks for your interest in our online program.
Summer Term II (6 weeks - July 8 - August 16, 2019)
STOCKSCH 100 – Botany for Gardeners (GenEd-BS – 4cr)
STOCKSCH 258 – Urban Agriculture (New)
STOCKSCH 320 – Organic Vegetable Production
STOCKSCH 379 - Agricultural Systems Thinking
STOCKSCH 382 – Professional Development in Sustainable Food and Farming
Farm Driver Job at Keller Farms in Illinois - 2019
Keller Farms is a large family-owned farming operation in Collinsville, Illinois and Charleston, Missouri. The farm produces a variety of grain and specialty crops such as horseradish and sweet corn. We take an aggressive approach to maintaining soil fertility, controlling weeds and insects, providing added plant nutrients, preparing seedbeds, cultivating, and harvesting to maximize commodity production.
Keller Farms is looking to hire an individual who is energetic and eager to join our expanding farming operation. This position is a part-time, as needed position. This job will require, but not limited to, the following:
Farm Driver Job Responsibilities:
The Farm Driver must safely operate trucks with heavy loads.
The Farm Driver performs pre-trip and post-trip inspection - assuring the safety of the vehicle.
The Farm Driver maneuvers truck into loading or unloading position as needed.
The Farm Driver maintains accurate records of products carried, delivered or returned.
The Farm Driver performs general service and maintenance of equipment, trucks, and trailers.
The Farm Driver keeps maintenance list/records updated.
The Farm Driver hauls grain to an elevator or grain bin.
The Farm Driver operates farm equipment as needed.
The Farm Driver assists with other duties as assigned.
Farm Driver Job Requirements:
Minimum of one-year truck driving experience.
Must hold a valid Class A-CDL.
Familiarity with farm equipment, such as augers and bins.
Must be responsible and professional at all times.
Previous experience in farming, agriculture, or related field preferred.
Must be able to work in severe weather conditions; both heat and cold.
Ability to work independently, as well as part of a team.
We are looking for energetic individuals with previous experience to fill full-time positions at our company.
Operation of equipment (planting and harvesting), CDL (not required but preferred), and equipment maintenance are some qualifications needed.
Applicators license is a plus, but not required.
Pay and Benefits Include: Hourly Pay, Uniforms, Paid Holidays, Profit Sharing, Paid Vacation, Health Insurance, 401K Retirement Plan
Please contact us with any questions about the farm driver job or send resumes with previous employer references to:
Join us this Saturday at Michigan State University
MSU Student Organic Farm
Are you interested in learning more about organic food production? Have you ever wonder what goes on "behind the scenes" to bring fresh, organic produce to our campus markets and CSA? If you answered yes, come on out this weekend to check it out!
The MSU Student Organic Farm Tour is Saturday June, 15th at 10:30am!
The student-led tour will touch on hoop house production (season extension), organic field crop management, and details about where to find our food and various educational programs.
The tour will begin in the parking lot of the Hort Research Farm at 3291 College Road, Holt, Michigan.
Can't make it this weekend? Put a future tour on your calendars! We will also be holding tours on July 20th and August 17th, 10:30 am.
The MSU Student Organic Farm was started in 1999 by a group of MSU students who were interested in learning to grow food sustainably. At the time there were no classes in organic agriculture at MSU and students were looking to acquire knowledge in a hands-on, experiential format. They wanted to apply what they were learning in their classes in the context of a working farm. Inspired by other student farms around the country, these students felt that MSU -- the nations first land grant college -- should have a student farm of its own. At the same time, Horticulture Professor John Biernbaum began researching possibilities for 4-season farming in Michigan. The connection of these two projects was ideal, as year-round farming provided opportunities for students to engage in farming during the main part of the academic year (September to May). From the beginning, the aim of the farm was to provide a place where students could come and volunteer, work, visit, and have input on the development of the land and farm. As a result of the vision and hard work of many, the farm has flourished. Over the years the farm has developed into a place where many different groups are able to engage with growing food and creating learning opportunities through farming.
Farm to School Director Position at Sierra Harvest in Nevada County, California - 2019
Are you passionate about bringing nutrition education to thousands of Nevada County students? Then the Farm to School Director position is for you!
The Farm to School Program provides fresh produce and nutrition education to 96% of K-8 students in Western Nevada County, as well as several preschools and a community college. Schools participate in a variety of program elements, including monthly tastings of seasonal produce through Harvest of the Month, cooking lessons with guest chefs, field trips to local farms, school garden carts, farmer visits to classrooms, spring plant sales, and support for school garden education.
Some of the Farm to School Program Director Duties and Responsibilities:
Coordinates Farm to School (FTS) programming with participating pre-K-community college Western Nevada County schools. Delivers training and mentoring to schools outside of Nevada County.
Hires, trains, manages and conducts performance reviews for FTS liaisons who carry out programming
Tracks liaison progress on program deliverables and manages tracking system Coordinates Harvest of the Month produce selection and distribution in collaboration with Procurement Specialist
Develops Harvest of the Month educational newsletters and other program materials including Calfresh annual flier
Farm to School Director Compensation:$25/h, 20h/week.
About Sierra Harvest
Sierra Harvest is a nonprofit dedicated to educating, inspiring and connecting the people of
Nevada County to fresh, local, seasonal food. We train dozens of farmers, organize
hundreds of community events, and educate over 9,500 school children. We envision a
thriving local food economy and a network of financially viable farms providing good food for
the community, where health and wellness is the norm and people of all ages are engaged in
growing, harvesting, preparing, and sharing fresh food. We are creating a place where
farmers thrive and residents of all ages have access to nutritious, whole food.
The latest news from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) includes an update on the latest Agriculture Funding Bill, the Agriculture Appropriations Process, and information about the proposed relocation of ERS and NIFA.
The committee debated and advanced their Agriculture Appropriations bill for fiscal year (FY) 2020. The agriculture funding bill passed in Committee 29-21 along party lines, and will now be sent to the floor of the full House for consideration. There’s still a long road ahead for Congress to get final FY 2020 agriculture funding bill finalized and signed into law by the President in advance of the upcoming September 30 deadline.
The House Appropriations Committee passed their fiscal year (FY) 2020 Agriculture Appropriations bill, sending it to the House floor for a vote in the weeks ahead. NSAC applauds appropriators for advancing an FY 2020 bill that meets or exceeds all of the coalition’s top funding priorities including language that would prohibit the Administration from moving forward with a plan to relocate ERS and NIFA, but we recognize that major hurdles remain to securing final FY 2020 funding levels.
Congress hosted its second hearing on the proposed relocation of USDA ERS and NIFA. The issue is raising serous concern among the agriculture and research communities, as well as a growing number of Members of Congress, who have introduced legislation in both chambers that would stop the move. Three witnesses testified at the hearing – all in opposition to the proposed relocation that would undoubtedly impact farmers, consumers, and trade – at a time American farmers can ill-afford.
Follow the Food - Generation Farmer, a BBC Documentary – June 14 @ 6:30 p.m. ET
“Follow the Food” is an eight-part series exploring the biggest questions and most innovative solutions from leading minds around the world on the future of food and feeding the planet.
American Farmland Trust (AFT), the organization behind the national movement No Farms No Food®,announces the premier of “Generation Farmer” -- episode three of the eight-part BBC World News documentary series Follow the Food. Follow the Food - Generation Farmer features AFT president and CEO John Piotti, AFT's work helping young and beginning farmers access land and senior farmers retire, and farmers Josh Rockwood and Sandy Gordon, who connected through the Hudson Valley Farmlink Network, a partnership of seventeen organizations coordinated by AFT to support transitioning land to a new generation of farmers in New York’s Hudson Valley.
“American agriculture faces a demographic tidal wave. Forty percent of U.S. agricultural land is owned by people age 65 and up, meaning over 371 million acres could change hands over the next 15 years as farmers retire. The good news is there’s an increasing crop of Americans who want to become farmers – but finding land to farm that’s affordable and suits their intended operation is a big hurdle,” says John Piotti.
He continues, “On the other hand, senior farmers looking to fund their retirement often see selling their land to developers who can pay well as the only option. AFT works to address both these issues, helping aging farmers and ranchers take steps to keep their land in agriculture as we help new farmers find land and obtain the critical services they need to succeed. Connecting these two groups and making sure helpful programs and policies are put in place on a local, state and national level is key to the future of farming in America and one of AFT’s three core mission areas.”
BBC’s Follow the Food - Generation Farmer focuses on the challenges facing new farmers around the world and highlights initiatives that are giving the next generation a helping hand. Piotti highlights the problem of land access for young farmers starting out in the United States – how someone with little or no family farming background and limited capital can make a start, or how an older farmer approaching retirement age can secure the future of his/her farm, perhaps with no heirs or with pressure to sell land out of farming.
BBC World News is the BBC’s biggest television service, operating in more than 200 countries and territories and reaching 454 million households around the world. Each week, the BBC’s global platform comprised of TV, radio and online services reaches 376 million adults.
Consult your television provider’s guide for information on where to view BBC World News. If you don’t have access via television, you can view it by signing up for free access to the live broadcast on the BBC World News webpage.
Follow the Food - Generation Farmer will re-air as follows: Saturdays (10:30 PM ET; 11:30 AM ET), Sundays (5:30 AM ET; 5:30 PM ET), Wednesdays (8:30 PM ET)
In addition, each episode of “Follow the Food” will appear on BBC Reel, posted each Thursday before transmission. BBC Reel can be watched anywhere in the world.
Also, check out write ups and clips at the “Follow the Food”website.
The State of New York is a leader in efforts to support a new generation of farmers. The recently adopted 2019-2020 state budget included$400,000 in funding for Farmland for a New Generation New York, a statewide program comprised of a Resource Center (www.nyfarmlandfinder.org) and an active network of Regional Navigators available to help farmers find land to farm across the state.
In last year’s Carpentry for Women Workshop, students built siding on the Groundswell Incubator Farm’s new wash station. This workshop will continue the work completed by the 2018 cohort and finish the wash station via constructing the side walls.
No experience necessary. Skills taught include:
marking and measuring
hammering and drilling
The Women on the Land Series is a collection of hands-on workshops for women taught by women and including topics such as butchering, welding, carpentry, electric, and chainsaw skills. Gender non-conforming and trans folks welcome at these events.
Space is limited. For more information about this workshop, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through the teaching of excellent building skills, Hammerstone School of Carpentry for Women aims to empower women to use their bodies and minds for creative and useful ends. By increasing the skills of individual women, we hope to increase the number of women in the trades, and ultimately change workplaces for women in and outside of the trades.
Upcoming CRAFT Field Days in the Upper Midwest from the Angelic Organics Learning Center
Each year we organize a variety of field days with topics focusing on the core themes of soils, plants, animals, and people. CRAFT field days provide prospective and current farmers exposure to the diversity of farms in the region through a workshop series that balances visits to: 1) larger and smaller farms 2) organic, biodynamic and sustainable farms 3) new and continuing Upper Midwest CRAFT member farms, and 4) other farms throughout our geographic region. Each field day is divided between time on the training topic, the host farm tour, and social time.
For a one-page printable version of the 2019 CRAFT Field Days schedule, click here.
2019 CRAFT Field Days
Saturday, June 1st - Biodynamic Spring Pick
Zinniker Family Farm is the longest-running Biodynamic farm in the country. Attendees will tour the farm, unearth biodynamic preparations that were buried last fall and prepare new ones for summer. Potluck supper after activities. FREE -No RSVP necessary!
This field day will feature a tour of Riemer Family Farm. During this tour, you'll learn about how you can incorporate animals into your farm operation. They'll talk about raising chickens and sheep and touch a little bit on cows and grazing.
Join us to learn how to use various hand tools: featuring paper pot transplanters, in-row torsion weeders, and other hand transplanting tools. John will talk about how using the right tool for the job can make small farms profitable and enjoyable!
Friday, August 9th - Grazing and Regenerative Agriculture
Join us to learn about grazing and regenerative agriculture! Chaz at Grassway Organics will talk about their rotational grazing techniques. Joining Chaz will be members of the Upper Midwest CRAFT Grazing Group, who will add additional grazing insight!
Wednesday, August 21st - Post-Harvest & Winter Storage
At this field day you will learn how to prep your produce and store your harvest! Duncan Simonson will talk about how to deter decomposition and other issues so that your produce can stay fresher longer.
Friday, September 13th - Hemp Production in Illinois
This field day will feature a discussion led by Rachel Berry of Illinois Hemp Growers Association and Liz Rupel of Illinois Stewardship Alliance, who will be discussing hemp production and hemp policy in Illinois. More details to come!
This is a packed field day that's sure to be full of information! We're teaming up with Windy City Harvest and Advocates for Urban Agriculture to bring you a full day of discussions about urban farming, land access, and small-scale farming!
Zinniker Family Farm is the longest-running Biodynamic farm in the country. This a great opportunity to experience hands-on learning and make Biodynamic preparations. We will fill and stuff several different preparations and bury them in the soil. Potluck and bonfire at the farm after. FREE - no RSVP necessary!
Friday November 1 - Extend Your Season With Alternative Income
At this field day, a panel of farmers will discuss ways in which you can extend your seasonal income. Learn about microgreen production, high tunnels, and herb production. You'll also learn about the financial elements and feasibility of extending your season.
On Farm Field Days in Michigan from the Michigan Farmers Market Association - Summer 2019
The Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) is pleased to announce that we will be hosting three on farm field days in the upcoming growing season. These on farm field days are part of our Farm-Based Education Program and will concentrate on workforce training and education for specialty crop producers. Click here for more information regarding the 2019 On-Farm Field Days.
Family Farm Labor and Specialty Crop Production On Farm Field Day at Sharkar Farm
June 24, 2019
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
5234 Meisner Road, China, MI 48054
Sharkar Farm is owned and operated by Sharon Ostrowski, whose family has worked on the farm and contributed to their success at farmers markets. Join us at Sharkar Farm for a farm tour and discussion about Family Farm Labor and Specialty Crop Production!
Students and Internships on the Farm On Farm Field Day at Ham Family Farm
August 27, 2019
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
12681 72nd Avenue, Allendale, MI 49401
Ham Family Farm has had numerous successful seasons at farmers markets owed to owner and operator, Charlie Ham, and family. Join us at Ham Family Farm for a farm tour and discussion about Students and Internships on the Farm!
CSA Labor Models and Specialty Crops On Farm Field Day at Birch Point Farm
October 14, 2019*
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
7506 E. Birch Point Road, Traverse City, MI 49684
Michelle Ferrarese is the owner and operator of Birch Point Farm, which offers a successful CSA program every year. Join us at Birch Point Farm for a farm tour and discussion about CSA Labor Models and Specialty Crops!
For more information regarding the 2019 On Farm Field Days or MIFMA's Farm-Based Education Program, contact Professional Development Manager Josh Prusik at email@example.com or (517) 432-3381.
Applications Open for Armed to Farm Veteran Farmer Training in New York - 2019
Military veterans are now welcome to apply to attend the week-long Armed to Farm (ATF) training, hosted by the Cornell Small Farms Program’s Farm Ops and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) this summer. Held from July 29 to August 2, 2019, in Victor, NY, the ATF veteran farmer training allows veterans and their spouses to experience sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and explore agriculture as a viable career.
ATF’s Veteran Farmer Training offers an engaging blend of farm tours, hands-on experience, and interactive classroom instruction, and gives participants a strong foundation in the basic principles of operating a sustainable farm. Participants learn about business planning, budgeting, recordkeeping, marketing, livestock production, fruit and vegetable production, and more. In addition, attendees gain a network of supportive farmer-veterans and agricultural advisers.
NCAT Sustainable Agriculture specialists will lead the training sessions, with additional contributors from Cornell University and USDA agencies, plus experienced crop and livestock producers.
Applications are available at www.ncat.org/atf_NY_19 and are due by Sunday, June 30, 2019. The number of participants will be limited. NCAT will notify selected participants by July 5.
All military veterans, as well as their spouses or farm partners in New York State, are welcome to apply. As this program is part of a Veterans Administration project at the Canandaigua VA Medical Center, participants are expected to be enrolled at a NYS VA facility. Contact Dean Koyanagi at firstname.lastname@example.org or (607) 255-9911 for additional details.
ATF Veteran Farmer Training is administered in New York by the Cornell Small Farms Program whose mission is to help farmers get expert assistance to facilitate all phases of small farm business development, from initial growth to optimization to maturity.