New Producers & Beginning Farmers
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There is growing interest in the exploration of farming as a new career in North Carolina and around the country. The primary challenges to new producers and beginning farmers include access to land, access to capital, and farm business planning training and support. This page is a starting point for aspiring producers and farmers to glean resources and knowledge that may answer questions and address challenges.
On This Page
|Guides & Toolkits||Incubator Farms in North Carolina|
|Programs||Regional & National New Farmer Support Organizations|
Find many local, state and national resources listed below to help you with anything from how to start a farm, to how to grow your local food business, to information on farm business planning. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, explore the Topics Tab or enter a keyword(s) in the Search Bar.
|NC New Farmer Toolbox||Toolbox of resources for beginning farmers on the business of farming, including NC focused resources on business planning, accessing capital and credit, land access, marketing and more.||Farm Business Planning|
|Getting into Farming – A Workbook for Beginning Farmers in North Carolina||Resource workbook developed in 2013 by the Bringing New Farmers to the Table Project. Authors: Branan, Andrew, Lee Miller, Marisa Alcorta, Tammy Howard, Hanna Lewis. This resource helps new farmers create a vision and financial plan for their business.||Farm Business Planning|
|Growing Your Local Food Business: A guide to North Carolina laws and regulations||A guide from Carolina Farm Stewardship Association for beginning and established farmers to help them understand the many federal and state laws and regulations that govern the production and sale of local foods. Specific sections provide outline requirements for farm-scale production and sale of meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, raw fruits & vegetables, honey, and low-risk manufactured foods (e.g., pickles and jams).||Farm Business Planning|
|The Regulatory Environment for Farms in Western NC||Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. This document provides an overview of licenses, taxes, certifications, land-use policies, and labor policies that apply to agriculture.||Farm Business Planning- Guide to NC Laws and Regulations|
|New Farmers: Resources to Help Get You Started Farming||This document from the USDA Rural Development Center lists federal resources that can help beginner farmers find and access federal resources.||Farm Business Planning – USDA Beginning Farmer Resources|
|Farm Answers||The USDA-NIFA beginning farmer and rancher (BFRDP) clearinghouse, providing resources to help you get started farming, as well as tools to help more seasoned producers succeed.||Farm Business Planning – USDA Beginning Farmer Resources|
|The Farmer’s Guide to Agricultural Credit||This guide from Rural Advancement Foundation International is aimed at helping farmers get ready to ask a lender for the financing needed in new and innovative ventures. When used as part of an overall enterprise development strategy, it can help farmers and lenders achieve mutually beneficial results when they sit down to do business.||Capital Access|
|NC Farmlink||An NC State Extension program connecting farmers, landowners & service providers in North Carolina.||Land Access|
|NC Farm School Program||Regional training opportunities focused on beginning, aspiring. and transitioning farmers.||New Farmer Training & Leadership Programs|
|Soldiers to Ag Program||NC State Agricultural Institute’s five-week program at Fort Bragg providing hands-on training and an introduction to a variety of careers in agriculture. To learn more about this effort, contact Robert Elliott at email@example.com, 252-725-4875, or if you’d like to contribute, go to http://go.ncsu.edu/AgInstituteVeteransFund to make a gift.||New Farmer Training & Leadership Programs|
|CEFS Apprenticeships||CEFS’ Sustainable Agriculture Apprenticeship Program is a hands-on work and study program that trains participants in many aspects of sustainable agriculture production, research, and education, as well as provides networking opportunities across the state.||New Farmer Training & Leadership Programs|
State & National Programs
|Farm Beginnings||A farmer-led training and support program from Organic Growers School. Learn the skills that are required to start and expand a successful farm business: passion, clear goals, production experience, financial and marketing know-how, and more.||New Farmer Training & Leadership Programs|
|Annie’s Project||A 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to providing educational programs designed to strengthen women’s roles in the modern farm enterprise.||Specific to Women in Agriculture|
|National Women In Agriculture Association||A nonprofit working towards developing locally grown food security systems in underserved communities, engaging youth in agriculture and agribusiness skills, and more.||Specific to Women & Youth in Agriculture|
|Women, Food, and Agriculture||A nonprofit created for women to share the information, connections, and encouragement they need to be effective practitioners and supporters of sustainable agriculture and healthy localized food systems.||Specific to Women in Agriculture|
|The Veteran’s Farm of North Carolina||The Veteran’s Farm of NC, Inc. is a farm designed and dedicated to returning service members and veterans to educate on all aspects of agriculture.||Specific to Veterans|
|USDA New Farmers||This website includes resources for new farmers, youth, women and veterans. Personalize your search on the USDA website using the new Discovery Tool.||Farm Business Planning – USDA Beginning Farmer Resources|
|Carolina Farm Stewardship Association||CFSA is a farmer-driven, membership-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that helps people through advocacy, system building and education. Their Sustainable Agriculture Conference generally has beginning farmer workshops and tours. It is based alternate years in Greenville, SC and Durham, NC.||New Farmer Training|
|Organic Growers School||OGS provides year-round opportunities for farmers and home-growers of all levels. Their Annual Spring Conference in Western NC supports new and existing farmers and gardeners interested in organic and sustainable agriculture.||New Farmer Training|
|Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project||ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. They also host the Business of Farming Conference each year for new and aspiring farmers.||Farm Business Planning|
|NCAT’s ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture||ATTRA is a program developed and managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). It provides information and technical assistance to farmers, ranchers, Extension agents, educators, and others involved in sustainable agriculture. Enroll in their online training module, Getting Started in Farming: An Introduction to Farm Business Planning. It has eight lessons that will guide you through the process of imagining and planning a successful farming enterprise.||Farm Business Planning|
If you have an incubator farm program in North Carolina and would like to have your program listed here, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to start a new Incubator Farm?
- National Incubator Farm Training Initiative – “Provides comprehensive one-on-one consulting, educational resources, and professional development opportunities for dozens of organizations throughout North America.”
- The Farm Incubator Toolkit – “A comprehensive guide to starting and operating land-based beginning farmer training programs.”
- Incubator Farm Planning Resources
Resources for communities or organizations interested in starting new incubator farms developed through the North Carolina project, Bringing New Farmers to the Table, between 2010 and 2013.