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Selected NESFI Publications


The On-Farm Mentor’s Guide – practical approaches to teaching on the farm

Miranda Smith. 2005. Belchertown, MA The New England Small Farm Institute.

An in-depth exploration of the rewards and pitfalls of on-farm mentoring, this publication covers the art of teaching and mentoring, designing your program, setting up for teaching, trainee housing, recruiting and choosing trainees and the business end of mentoring.  Includes twenty-one worksheets to evaluate your skills, the adequacy of your facilities, conformance with OSHA requirements and other areas, ending with almost forty pages of resources for additional study.

$35.00, 196pp, spiral-bound.


Cultivating a New Crop of Farmers – Is On-Farm Mentoring Right for You and Your Farm?  A Decision-Making Workbook

Kathryn Hayes and others. 2005. Belchertown, MA The New England Small Farm Institute

Designed for those considering adding a training program to their operations and for those at the planning stage who want to include mentoring in their farm plan, this publication covers the definition of mentoring, reasons for it, the need for it in the Northeast, deciding whether your operation is suitable for it, whether you’re ready to host, and the impact of trainees on farm life, all done in a worksheet format helpful for self-evaluation. Includes sixteen worksheets covering all aspects of the mentor decision-making process, and an extensive resource list for further study.

 $20.00, 49pp, paperback.

DACUM Occupational Profile for Northeast Small Scale Sustainable Farmer*

1999. Belchertown, MA The New England Small Farm Institute.

A systematic listing of the knowledge and skills required to successfully own and operate a small farm business. The profile divides the "job" of farming into twelve key "duties" and associated "tasks."

$6.00; 8 sheets.

DACUM Occupational Profile for On-farm Mentor

2001. Belchertown, MA The New England Small Farm Institute.

A systematic listing of the duties and tasks of on-farm mentors – farmers who offer hands-on training in farming skills on their farms.

$6.00; 4 sheets. 

Exploring the Small Farm Dream: Is Starting an Agricultural Business Right for You?

Kathryn Hayes and others. 2003, Rev. 2009.  Belchertown, MA The New England Small Farm Institute.

This second edition of our  Explorer short course and decision-making workbook are designed to help you learn what it would take to start and manage your dream farm as a viable business, and decide whether this is a path you really want to pursue. The workbook includes self-assessment tools, worksheets, and an extensive resource list. Visit NESFI's Explorer website ( for more information about the Explorer workbook and short course, self-study options, and Explorer course delivery sponsorship.

If you are a course sponsor, please do not order here. Please contact or call between 9-2 Monday-Thursday  to order your workbooks.

$25.00, 80 pages, paperback.


Holding Ground: A Guide to Northeast Farmland Tenure and Stewardship.

Kathy Ruhf, Annette Higby, Andrea Woloschuk and others. 2004. Belchertown, MA.

The New England Small Farm Institute and Intervale Foundation. This publication addresses farmland access, transfer, affordability and stewardship. It focuses on "non-ownership" tenure options and contains sample lease provisions with explanations, sample stewardship standards, worksheets, and case studies.

$25.00; 162 pages, paperback.


Farmland Transfer and Protection in New England

Kathy Ruhf. 1999. Belchertown, MA The New England Small Farm Institute.

Overview of land acquisition and farm transfer issues and strategies.

$15.00; 124 pages, paperback.


Listening to New Farmers: Findings from New Farmer Focus Groups

Northeast New Farmer Network. 2001. Belchertown, MA The New England Small Farm Institute.

Findings from a project convened to identify the characteristics of Northeast new farmers, better understand their challenges, and help shape a framework for improved programs and services that can meet their interests and needs.

$4.00; 57 pages, paperback.

Farming in Wetland Resource Areas: A Guide to Agriculture and the  Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act

Edited by Kathy Ruhf. 1996. Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

This guide offers an understanding of the agricultural exemption to the MA Wetlands Protection Act for the farming community, with attention to those areas and activities on your farm that might be subject to regulatory oversight.

$15.00; 135 pages, binder.










Finding the Niche: Case Studies of Beginning Small Scale Farmers

Katherine Griffin. 1991. Mount Horeb, WI Wisconsin Rural Development Center.

Inspiring case studies featuring families and individuals succeeding in non-traditional farming.Provides ideas and insights into the challenges farmers face and the resourcefulness they bring to bear in realizing their goals and dreams.

$5.00; 37 pages, paperback.

MPPU Self-Guided Tutorial
NESFI’s 60-page “MPPU Self-Guided Tutorial” is the Workbook component of our state-approved, mandatory MPPU Training Program.  It’s self-study feature allows Workshop participants to come to the first Program session well-prepared.  The two-part Program includes (1) “coaching workshop” preparation for the state’s on-line exam and (2) “hands-on” training in actual poultry processing using MPPU equipment – both required for MPPU licensure by the MA Dept. of Public Health, Food Protection Program.