Creating a Farm to Match Your Values, Goals, Skills, and Resources
So you're thinking about starting a farm, but feeling overwhelmed by all the decisions? Have your online searches turned up piles of information, but you still feel a bit lost? This course can help. It was designed to assist new and aspiring farmers in taking the first steps in thinking through farm start-up (whether you already have land access or not). As Ben Franklin said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Thoughtfully defining your goals and strategy will prepare you for this endeavor and can prevent disasters down the road.
Aspiring/Beginner – This course is for those who want to make some or all of their livelihood from farming, and those who are actively planning the start-up of a farm in the next few years. Each participate will be assessing their own resources and will begin developing a farm start-up plan. You do not need to have land or know what you will grow – just that you want to explore the possibilities and learn about the steps you need to take to begin farming.
NOTE: This course covers some of the
same material as BF 202: Writing a Business Plan, but at a much more
introductory level. We recommend taking BF 101 first to prepare for the
more advanced material in BF 202.
We also recommend following this course with BF 102: Markets and Profits in order to complete your start-up plan.
The bulk of the course happens on your own time, with discussions, readings, and assignments here in Teachable, our virtual classroom. To add to the experience, live webinars will be woven into the online interface for 6 weeks each Fall to allow you to meet on a weekly basis to learn from presenters and ask questions in real time. If you miss one, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing.
Recordings from Fall 2020 webinars are all posted for viewing in the course. The next live offering of this course will be Fall 2021.
Erica owns and operates Shelterbelt Farm, a diversified operation with lambs, cattle, an orchard, high tunnels, an apiary, and overnight accommodations in Brooktondale, NY. She also manages online courses for the Cornell Small Farms Program.
StartWeek 1 Webinar Slides, Join Link, and Recording
StartFORUM: Introduce Yourself; Meet Your Peers
StartFORUM: Readings and Reflections on the Challenges of Profitable Farming
StartFORUM: Vegetable Farm Decision Case
StartSkills Checklist for Beginning Farmers
StartASSIGNMENT and FORUM: Plan Your Farm Hub - Getting Started, pt I
StartWeek 2 Webinar Join Link, Slides and Recording
StartHolistic Goal Activities - please download before Second Webinar!
StartASSIGNMENT and FORUM: Plan Your Farm Hub - Getting Started, pt. II
StartHolistic Management: Decision-making Tools and Further Training
StartFORUM: What Does "Quality of Life" Mean to You?
Courses Included with Purchase
Original Price: $0
Frequently Asked Questions
Learn from successful farmers and start turning your farm dreams into reality today!