Farm Start Up Programs

NYFC Finding Farmland Online Course

With farmland increasingly valued for non-agricultural uses and young farmers citing land access as their top challenge, we're focused on making secure, affordable access to land possible for the next generation of farmers and ranchers. The Finding Farmland Course is a series of nine free lessons that prepare farmers to confidently approach the financial decisions related to land access and acquiring their own farm. This project is a collaboration between Young Farmers and several partner organizations, and was supported by a grant from USDA NIFA's Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program. Over the next month, the experts who helped create this resource will be available to answer your questions and respond to feedback.  

Farm Business Planning, University of Maryland

Planning is essential to any business, no matter how large or small the inventory, payroll, and bank account. To be successful, farm operators must know their current position and future plans. Thinking about your plans is not enough! Taking time to formulate ideas, evaluate your business, devise a strategy, and anticipate possible problems will help your business be successful.

This workbook was designed so that the thoughts and objectives for your business can be organized and thoroughly documented. In the long run, your business plan will serve many purposes, such as: defining a new business; setting goals and planning steps to achieve them; evaluating the effectiveness of business and marketing strategies; setting a direction for the business for the next five years; planning, growth and development for established businesses; and supporting a loan application.

Farmland Access Legal Toolkit

Helping farmers and landowners affordably access, transfer, and conserve farmland.
This toolkit explains legal arrangements that provide farmers more affordable and equitable farmland access and help landowners balance earning income for retirement with making their land affordable to the next generation of farmers, and makes useful information available to farmer and landowner advocates.

Appalachian Regional Commission
The Appalachian Regional Commission released Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Appalachia, a suite of new research reports and resources to support entrepreneurial development in Appalachia. The research includes three reports which outline core elements necessary for a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem, analyze community case studies to provide insight into the unique challenges faced by communities in Appalachia, and offer recommendations to support future economic development across the Region. A companion website documents and compares entrepreneurial activity in each of Appalachia’s 420 counties, and includes a working inventory of support services available to entrepreneurs across the Region.

Finding Farmland Calculator
Beginning farmers have a powerful new tool in their digital toolbox. The Finding Farmland Calculator, developed by the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) and Fathom Information Design, brings together innovative design and practical resources to help farmers overcome two top obstacles to starting a farm — access to land and capital.

SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis is a tool that helps you evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) involved in any business enterprise, including farms and ranches.

New Business Development
A Penn State website for starting new businesses. Agribusiness Planning Providing direction for agricultural firms Conducting a SWOT Analysis A SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) is a process that can help you get insights into the past and think of possible solutions to existing or potential problems for your business. Diversification of Your Operation, Why If you are only engaged in one enterprise (growing corn for example) and have a crop failure, it will be more devastating than if you grew more crops. By diversifying, you are spreading the downside risk over more than one enterprise. Example Business Plan Example business plan for imaginary business, A&B Nursery.

Northeast Beginning Farmers Project – Cornell University
The Northeast Beginning Farmers Project is a program offered through Cornell University. This program offers a variety of resources for Beginning Farmers from online classes to planning your farm tutorials to veterans opportunities.

USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)
The National Agricultural Statistics Service provides timely, accurate, and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture.

Livestock Budget

Specialty Crops Budget

Problem Solving
Basic steps of problem solving.

Market Research
How tos of market research to determine market for your product.

Lifestyle Values and Choices
A worksheet to determine what is important to you.

Exploring the Small Farm Dream
This program will guide you through the initial exploratory decision making process to decide if you want to farm.

Agricultural Alternatives
Information to help you select crop or livestock enterprises for your farm. (Be careful to use updated prices in all areas.)

AgBiz Masters Program
A learning series for young and beginning farmers teaching business and financial management skills.

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