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Exploring the Small Farm Dream Courses

Take an Exploring the Small Farm Dream course from one of the organizations or agencies listed below.  We expect this list to grow, so if you don't find a course near you now, check back.  Most course sponsors offer classes in late fall, winter, or early spring. Classes generally are held over 4 sessions and some sponsors add farm visits or other activities in addition to the regular class schedule.  For information on specific course schedules, check with the individual sponsor.  

NESFI originally designed the Explorer workbook for use in the classroom. We believe that using the workbook in a classroom setting offers you and your fellow classmates several benefits. First, facilitators will guide your exploration, bringing their own business start-up experience and farming knowledge to the class. They can answer questions and expand on the text in ways that are keyed to your needs, and introduce you to local resources.  Second, you will be exploring with a group of peers - folks with similar interests and concerns with whom you can test ideas and share experiences. They can become the heart of your business start-up support network-both in the classroom and beyond. And, finally, the regular weekly meeting schedule provides both the motivation and a structure to do the work.

Course participants say:

The course "helped us organize our thoughts, connect to local resources & assess our personal situation." 

"Tons of info, nice to talk with other like-minded people." 

"I would recommend the class to people who are serious about investigating (exploring) the small farm dream.  There’s nothing like bringing a sense of reality to the dream."

Exploring the Small Farm Dream Course Sponsors:

In the U.S.


New Jersey:

New York:

  • Wayne County NY Cooperative Extension:  Check the Small Farm Dream web page or contact Beth Claypoole at



  • Penn State University Cooperative Extension.  Courses offered at several locations.  Contact John Berry or go to

Rhode Island:


In Canada: