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.
Homesteading Farm Job/Internship at Lake Monroe Homestead - 2019
Our farm is located in southern Indiana approx. 10 miles south of Bloomington (Indiana University). It is between 3 heavily used campgrounds and adjoins the Hoosier National Forest on three sides. We try to coordinate our product availability to sell from a roadside stand during the busy Memorial through Labor Day Lake Monroe boating season. We are currently expanding in many ways, and seek a candidate for the Homesteading Farm Job/Internship capable of augmenting/coordinating many of the projects listed below.
Ideally, Homesteading Farm Job/Internship candidates would have prior small farm/horticulture experience or formal education; but a strong desire to develop a sustainable rapport with nature through permaculture and homesteading is what is really important. There is a somewhat vigorous physical component required, as our use of automation/mechanical advantage has been kept intentionally low. For instance, we invest in high quality Austrian made hoes rather than tillers, split wood by hand, and extensively rely on wheel barrows and drag tarps. On the intellectual side of the spectrum, the ability to research, think abstractly, and learn the particular business related nuances involved is desirable. This is a family operation, partially “subsidized” by one member’s full-time outside employment. Candidates could also partially support themselves through work in town, online, etc. or attempt to get by on what we are financially able to provide at this time. This consists of a small regular cash stipend year round that equates to around $9/hr@40hrs/wk, assistance with transportation, food, other living expenses, additional irregular income that scales with the various growing seasons, and separate housing with utilities.
Our intention is to find an arrangement/partnership that is mutually beneficial to all parties involved. This will take some creativity, but a solid foundation has been laid, the motivation to succeed is present, and further investment has the potential for large returns. The best way to continue a dialogue is to write us at email@example.com; after which I will provide additional contact information and we can go from there. Thank you and I hope your summer is off to a great start.
Today's news from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) features, Funding for Conservation Innovation Trials, Organic Cost Share Program News, and an Update and Recommendations on the 2019 Organic Survey.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced the availability of $25 million in annual funding to advance the adoption and evaluation of innovative conservation practices on agricultural lands. The funding for on-farm trials is available as a sub-program of the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program, authorized under the 2018 Farm Bill. CIGs are designed to support collaboration between NRCS and partners to implement innovative, on-the-ground conservation activities and then evaluate their impacts. Participating farmers and ranchers will receive payments to offset the risk and investments for testing out new and innovative conservation approaches. NRCS is accepting proposals through July 15, 2019.
Organic certification under the National Organic Program (NOP) can provide significant benefits to farmers by opening new market opportunities and increasing the takeaway profit for sales; it can also, however, be a prohibitively costly process. For producers and handlers interested in certification who require cost share assistance, the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) is an excellent resource. Eligible organic producers and handlers can apply for the cost-share program to cover up to 75 percent of their certification costs, up to a maximum of $750 annually. Applications are open until October 31, 2019.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is preparing to survey the nation’s organic farmers in an effort to collect data on acreage, production, and sales for a variety of organic crop and livestock commodities. Earlier this year, NASS announced that it would begin soliciting feedback on its proposal for the 2019 Organic Survey, which the agency anticipates should be underway by the end of the year. In advance of each organic survey, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) provides recommendations to NASS on how to improve the format and contents of the survey in order to best capture important trends in organic agriculture.
Upper Midwest CRAFT Soil Fertility and CSA Customization Field Day - July 15th, 2019
Farmer John of Angelic Organics will spend the first hour of the day talking about CSA customization. John haspartnered with Harvie, a share customization platform, to bring customized shares and several other enhancements to our shareholders.The remainder of the day will be spent talking about Angelic Organics' soil fertility and weed control methods. Half of John's farm is fallow every year. He’ll discuss the difference that makes in yields and weed control. He’ll also demonstrate at least one of their mechanical weed control methods.
Date: Monday, July 15th
Time: 12:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: Angelic Organics, 1547 Rockton Rd., Caledonia, IL 61011
There will be a potluck lunch, please bring a dish to share!
Do you wonder how a farm can customize CSA shares and still get all the rest of the work done? After 29 years of serving shareholders in Chicagoland with a traditional CSA shares, we have partnered with Harvie, a share customization platform, to bring customized shares and several other enhancements to our shareholders. Check out Harvie at www.harvie.farm. We’ll share what we have learned about customizing shares, what we haven’t learned yet, and other features of Harvie.
Monday is one of 3 pack days per week; our team of volunteers will be packing 400 to 500 boxes on this Monday afternoon. Can they do that in under 3 easy hours? Maybe. 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.
Our Soil Fertility and Weed Control Program:
Half of our land is fallow every year. We’ll discuss the difference that makes in yields and weed control. We’ll demonstrate at least one of our mechanical weed control methods. 3:30 to 4:00 p.m. -
Anything Else? Lifelong Farmer John Peterson will take questions on anything else you want to discuss.
There will be a potluck lunch in the middle of the day. Please bring a dish to pass.
FREE to Upper Midwest CRAFT members. Members must RSVP by Tuesday, July 9th by emailing AJ Boucek at firstname.lastname@example.org. $20 for non-members who must register below. Not a member, but interested in joining? Click here.
Isaac and Holly Wiegmann have farmed organically for ten years on their ancestors’ land. We have nearly 200 acres of farmland in eastern Ohio with six acres of vegetables on our 214 year old family homestead in Cadiz, Ohio. We specialize in over 200 varieties of Certified Organic Produce, grass-fed beef, pork and poultry including free-range eggs and go to three farmers’ markets weekly in Pittsburgh, PA and Wheeling, WV. We also utilize a high tunnels for season extension. Explore our website: www.next7farm.com.
Next 7 Organic Farm – Full Time Farm Intern
Compensation: $8/hr, Produce, Housing Option
Join the Next 7 Organic Farm team and intern with two ten year certified organic farmers - Isaac and Holly Wiegmann. Assist in the production and harvest of vegetables, wild crops (including ramps, berries, and mushrooms), grass-fed cattle, pig and chicken rotation on a 200-acre certified organic farm. This full-time position will assist with all daily activities including (but not limited to) seeding, transplanting, cultivation, harvest, setting up irrigation, washing and packing vegetables for transport. Applicants should be physically fit, able to lift 50 lbs., and expect to work for 8+ hours a day. Longer hours are occasionally required on market days, during high harvest periods, livestock emergencies, etc.
Next 7 Organic Farm -- formerly Her Bold Farm -- our family farm since 1805, consists of 188 rolling acres of hillside meadows, pastures and woodlands. Spring-fed creeks meander from wooded hollows through our bottomland into the backwaters of Clendening Lake. Our beloved farm is organically run the way nature intended and chemical free for more than 2.5 decades. Holly, her husband Isaac and her dad John combine their farming expertise and love of the land to manage the garden, goats, happy hens, hay crop, grass-fed beef and baked goods. We believe in the products we sell. We eat them too. Visit us on Wednesdays at the Mt. Lebanon Lion's Club Farmers' Market in Pittsburgh, at Good Mansion Wines in Wheeling, WV or take a country drive to our farm and ladle a refreshing drink from the springhouse.
John Herbold, Holly and Isaac Wiegmann
36000 Brushy Fork Rd.
Cadiz, OH 43907
All-new forum.ag connects real farmers to create a knowledgeable agriculture community
Forum launched to help farmers evolve and grow their businesses
Modern technology has changed the way farmers around the world grow crops and livestock, sell produce, and transport goods from point A to point B. Yet, in Africa farmers haven’t had the chance to connect to other like-minded individuals working in the agricultural industry until now.
Forum.ag has officially launched to give farmers and agriculture workers the chance to connect and communicate about real-life issues within the industry. The all-new forum allows users to sign-up for free and to post to the shared community.
Users can post about agricultural subjects that affect them or to simply gain new information on agriculture subjects. Individuals can even join in on discussions to give their expertise or experience on a farming topic. Forum.ag will give those in the agriculture industry a voice and opportunity shape their businesses.
In 2012, Sub Sahara Africa consists of 9% of 561 million farms worldwide, according to the World Bank a study the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations shows. With many new farmers being born since the explosion of computers, cellphones, and other technological innovations, the use of the Internet has become more prevalent in agriculture. Forum.ag continues agriculture’s move into the modern age and expects farmers to follow along.
Farming may be one of the oldest professions in the world, but it doesn’t have to be stuck in the past. The use of computer science in farming has improved produce and livestock yields along with forecasting weather. Forum.ag now connects those in the agricultural industry to bring together knowledge like never before.
“The website is a unique platform to bring together a like-minded community of individuals who grow and produce the world’s food,” a forum.ag spokesperson said. “Agriculture is often ignored by those who do not work in the industry. Our aim is to give farmers and other agriculture focused people a voice and chance to share their knowledge with each other.”
For more information or to sign-up to Forum.ag, please visit the website at https://forum.ag/.
 Lowder, S.K., Skoet, J. and Raney, T., 2016. The number, size, and distribution of farms, smallholder farms, and family farms worldwide. World Development, 87, pp.16-29.
USDA Accepting Applications to Help Cover Producers’ Costs for Organic Certification through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that organic producers and handlers can apply for federal funds to assist with the cost of receiving and maintaining organic certification through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP). Applications for fiscal 2019 funding are due Oct. 31, 2019.
“Producers can visit their local FSA county offices to apply for up to 75 percent of the cost of organic certification,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “This also gives organic producers an opportunity to learn about other valuable USDA resources, like farm loans and conservation assistance, that can help them succeed. Organic producers can take advantage of a variety of USDA programs from help with field buffers to routine operating expenses to storage and handling equipment.”
The Organic Certification Cost Share Program received continued support through the 2018 Farm Bill. It provides cost-share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products for the costs of obtaining or maintaining organic certification under the USDA’s National Organic Program. Eligible producers include any certified producers or handlers who have paid organic certification fees to a USDA-accredited certifying agent. Eligible expenses for cost-share reimbursement include application fees, inspection costs, fees related to equivalency agreement and arrangement requirements, travel expenses for inspectors, user fees, sales assessments and postage.
Certified producers and handlers are eligible to receive reimbursement for up to 75 percent of certification costs each year, up to a maximum of $750 per certification scope, including crops, livestock, wild crops, handling and state organic program fees.
Opportunities for State Agencies
Today’s announcement also includes the opportunity for state agencies to apply for grant agreements to administer the OCCSP program in fiscal 2019. State agencies that establish agreements for fiscal year 2019 may be able to extend their agreements and receive additional funds to administer the program in future years.
FSA will accept applications from state agencies for fiscal year 2019 funding for cost-share assistance through May 29, 2019.
Newest 'ATTRA Voices from the Field' Podcast:
Five Principles of Soil Health
In the most recent episode of NCAT's ATTRA: Voices from the Field Podcast, Nina Prater, a soil specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, sits down for a conversation with NCAT Southeast Regional Director Margo Hale.
(To listen to this podcast and see the "ATTRA: Voices from the Field" archive, clickhere.)
In this episode, Nina Prater, a soil specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, sits down for a conversation with NCAT Southeast Regional Director Margo Hale to talk about the basic principles of soil health and to go over the five soil health principles that farmers and ranchers can follow to regenerate soil to a healthy, productive condition. Margo is a livestock specialist, and she earned two degrees in Animal Science without a single soil class. Nina tries to remedy this around the office on a regular basis, so they decided to record one of these conversations. Margo and Nina both work out of NCAT’s regional office in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
To access all of ATTRA's extensive sustainable agriculture resources on soil health and more, go to the ATTRA website.
If you have questions about the principles of soil health or other sustainable agriculture issues, ATTRA agriculture specialists are here to help! Call 1-800-346-9140 or email email@example.com.
Since 1976, the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) has been helping people by championing small-scale, local and sustainable solutions to reduce poverty, promote healthy communities and protect natural resources. More information about its programs and services is available at www.ncat.org or by calling 1-800-ASK-NCAT.
Forcing Bulbs, Flowers & Branches for Early Spring Sales - May 16
Date: Thursday, May 16, 2019, 9am - 4pm
Cost: $55 - $100
Location: Forget Me Not Farms, 9380 Whiteford Center Rd, Ottawa Lake, MI 49267
Speakers: Lindsay Daschner of Forget Me Not Farms & Susan Sharp of Open Sky Farm
Learn to extend the season for flower sales to capture market opportunities like Mothers' Day and Memorial Day. Lindsay Daschner will share her experience forcing anemone, ranunculus and other flowers in bulb crates and in-ground in her gutter connect greenhouse, as well as coppicing woody materials, marketing nursery stock. Susan Sharp will discuss forcing flowers at Open Sky Farm and will demonstrate making interesting kokedama and hypertufa containers to market them.
Location: Green Wagon Farm, 4960 Quiggle Ave. Ada, MI, 49301
Speakers: Caleb Tacoma of Green Wagon Farm, Sarah Geurkink of the MSU Student Organic Farm, Dr. Daniel Brainard of MSU
Weeds can be one of the biggest obstacles to high yields, profits and peace of mind on the farm. Learn ways to prevent, reduce and control the weeds on your farm. See the tricks and tools in action on a successful organic vegetable farm.
Location: MSU Student Organic Farm, 3291 College Rd, Holt MI 48842
Topic: Food Security
Workshops on Farms, Taught by Farmers!
Each Farmer Field School workshop features in-depth, practical insights from the wealth of knowledge in Michigan’s farming community. Experienced farmers and agricultural educators team up to co-teach each workshop. Farmer Field School is designed to improve the profitability of diversified, sustainable farms in their first 10 years. See Farmer Field School for more program information and current workshops.
JOIN THE MICHIGAN BEGINNING FARMER EMAIL LIST - subscribe HERE.
Here is the news from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) about the Relocation of USDA Research Agencies, Conservation Stewardship Program Signup, and a whole bunch of Competitive Grant Opportunities...
Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced its list of finalists for the proposed relocation of USDA research agencies, the Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), in partnership with allied organizations, researchers, and policymakers across the country, has resoundingly opposed the proposed relocation of USDA research agencies, citing the inevitable loss of skilled staff, potential for politicization of the nonpartisan research agencies, and the lack of cost benefit or other documentation from USDA showing that the moves are warranted
As part of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) ongoing efforts to help farmers and advocates stay up to date with federal policy and funding opportunities, we have provided detailed descriptions of open Requests for Applications (RFAs) that may be of interest to the sustainable agriculture community.
Read more to find out the deadlines for these following competitive grant programs:
Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI)
Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP)
Organic Transitions Program (ORG)
Community Food Projects (CFP)
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative – Sustainable Agriculture Systems (AFRI SAS)
Food Safety Outreach Program (FSOP)
Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP, formerly FINI)
Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP)
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE)
Sorrel River Ranch Seeks a Full Time Farm Manager for 2019 - Moab, Utah
About Sorrel River Ranch and Farmer D Consulting
Sorrel River Ranch is an exclusive 240-acre riverside oasis surrounded by the spectacular scenery of Utah’s iconic arches, canyonlands, and red rock mesas. Southeastern Utah’s premiere ranch resort elevates the guest experience by offering unparalleled services and customized experiences with authentic western hospitality, local knowledge, gourmet farm meals, and a genuine commitment for responsible land stewardship. The Ranch is framed by the Colorado River, 17 miles outside of Moab, Utah, the Adventure Capital of the West and the gateway to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.
Farmer D Consulting was recently engaged to help further the vision for the farm and assist with hiring a Farm Manager to participate in and lead the effort to implement this evolving vision. The redesign of the farm and its programs will position the farm as a centerpiece of the property and enhance the dining, programming and culture of the place. As part of the reimagining of the farm it would be great to move towards being a more closed loop Biodynamic farm that both provides high quality food and educational experiences for guests, staff and visitors. As part of moving in this direction, there is interest in adding a small cattle component focused on dairy, beef and compost.
Sorrel River Ranch is seeking an experienced Farm Manager to oversee all areas of existing farm operations and lead the farm into its next iteration. You will be part of implementing the vision to elevate the agricultural experience.
The primary goals for the farm operation are to produce high quality ingredients, provide engaging experiences for guests and staff and be as financially self-sufficient as possible. The Ranch aims for seamless integration with the guest experience, farm to table cuisine, and new retail market - JJ’s General Store. The current farm footprint includes approximately 70 acres of irrigated pasture land, currently used for horses, and roughly 1.5 acre organic kitchen garden and small greenhouse.
Strong leadership, initiative and communication will need to be the core of your managerial skills. As the Farm Manager you will:
effectively communicate with the Chef to develop and plan menu items
delegate tasks and define roles and responsibilities of your farm team
maintain consistent communication with the Operations Manager on progress and process
feel comfortable engaging with guests to enhance their experience
develop strong morale with the staff by encouraging participation in the farm for those that live on the ranch
Additionally, Sorrel River Ranch is looking to develop agricultural programming so that it nourishes the guests and the land. As the Farm Manager you will:
focus on regenerative, biodynamic and/or organic principles in farming
have a high level of integrity when it comes to land management and engaging with the public
a willingness to learn new processes and collaborate on concepts surrounding the agricultural vision
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
The essential functions include, but are not limited to:
Supervise all steps of crop production including planting, fertilizing, harvesting, and building healthy soil.
Develop annual crop plan based on demands from on-site restaurant, general store and other outlets.
Planning and implementation of weekly planting and harvest schedule
Determine and maintain annual farm budget and cost projections
Coordinate sales and distribution of all farm products such as fresh produce, herbs, flowers and animal products
Serve as the sales agent for livestock and crops
Maintain clear records of each season’s planting and harvest logs.
Supervise animal husbandry related to farm operation such as chickens, goats and cows Determine how to raise crops or livestock according to factors such as market conditions, federal program availability, and soil conditions
Select and purchase supplies for farm operations such as seeds, fertilizers, supplies, etc...
Infrastructure planning, creation and maintenance
Insect, pest, critter and weed control, monitoring and management
fertility monitoring, general field observation
Implementation, maintenance and monitoring of deer fencing
Irrigation planning, implementation and management
Soil building program including implementing and managing a composting program
Engage staff, guests and visitors in farm tours, hands-on farm work and educational workshops
Assist with marketing and engagement efforts
Cooperate with community partners
Integration of farming efforts with other departments
Adapt duties to the seasons, weather conditions, or a crop’s growing cycle
Maintain farm facilities, such as water pipes, hoses, fences, and animal shelters
Maintain and Repair farm machinery, as needed (with assistance from on-site mechanic)
Some evening and special event hours will be required
Participate in planning for long term farm development
Required Qualifications and Experiences
The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.
Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
At least 5 years of relevant work experience and a relevant college degree, within the fields of organic/biodynamic farm management
Experience with operating tractors and other farming equipment with strong knowledge of equipment use and safety
Outstanding and proven skills in managing diverse teams with maximized productivity and efficiency
Passion for interacting with and educating guests, visitors and staff of varied ages and backgrounds
Passion for sustainable, regenerative and/or biodynamic farming
Cooperative, service‐oriented attitude and ability to work independently and take initiative, set priorities and see projects through to completion
Strong communication, interpersonal and relationship development skills
Ability to be open and flexible to new ways of working with diverse communities
Creative skills and ability to experiment to attain new, better strategies, approaches, and solutions to challenges
Flexibility and willingness to take on a variety of tasks along with an ability to work effectively in a highly collaborative, team environment
A valid driver’s license and clean driving record
Preferred Qualifications and Experience:
Experience farming in a hospitality environment
Certification and/or Master’s degree in sustainable agriculture education or related field (biodynamics, permaculture, etc…)
Experience with soil and water management
Technical knowledge and familiarity with irrigation construction, troubleshooting, and repair
Experience working with livestock
Food safety training
Knowledge of species and climate specific to Southern Utah or similar
Experience as an agricultural or environmental educator
Project management experience
Training in active listening and constructive communication techniques such as Non‐Violent Communication, meeting facilitation, etc.
Reports to the General Manager
Supervises all farm staff
Salary commensurate with experience.
As a salaried position the schedule will vary by week and seasons with long days often required and split shifts during the heat of the summer. 40 or more hours per work and 5 or 6 days per week will be required for the position to be successful.
We have an employer sponsored (Gold or Bronze Option) Medical Plan and optional Dental Plan available to all FTYR staff members after completing 90 days of employment
The Farm Manager will be eligible for On-site Employee Housing options on a space available basis at the time of job acceptance. Housing options range from private one bedroom apartments to shared rooms and are priced from $75 per paycheck for a shared room (every 2 weeks) to $350 per paycheck for a private one bedroom apartment
Typical Working Conditions
The Farm Manager will work outdoors. There will be exposure to Southern Utah outside temperatures, products used in the agricultural industry, operation of equipment, working with animals and loud noises.