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Starting A Farm

"Market Gardening: A Start-Up Guide" Business planning and start-up issues for aspiring market gardeners.

"Small Scale Livestock Farming" Introduction to grass-based livestock farming. Includes information on goal setting, business management and production. Oriented to beginners. Available from the NESFI Bookstore.

Voices of Experience Videos: Good Advice for New Farmers - From Cornell Cooperative Extension, this video series of interviews with 12 New York state farmers covers a variety of topics of interest to new farmers.   The farmers interviewed represent a wide range of enterprises. 

"Finding the Niche: Case Studies of Beginning Small-Scale Farmers" see PDF at left (Adobe Reader required) - Stories of start-up farms in Wisconsin. Also available from the NESFI Bookstore.

"Sustainable Vegetable Production from Start-Up to Market" Production manuals with information on marketing, grower profiles and sample enterprise budgets. Of use to both beginning and more advanced growers. Available from the NESFI Bookstore.

"Farming Alternatives: A Guide to Evaluating the Feasibility of New Farm-Based Enterprises" User-friendly overview of enterprise selection and business planning. Written for established farms that are considering adding a new enterprise, but of use to beginning farmers as well. Available from the NESFI Bookstore.

"Making Your Small Farm Profitable" Introductory guide for beginning farmers from the editor of Small Farm Today. Available from the NESFI Bookstore.

"You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start and Succeed in a Farming Enterprise" One of the few books written explicitly for aspiring farmers from non-farming backgrounds. The guidelines for enterprise selection may be of particular use to Explorers. Available from the NESFI Bookstore.

"The Greenhorns Guide for Beginning Farmers".  Part pep talk, part institutional index, part career planning guide, this guidebook is written by young farmers for young farmers.

FarmCentre New Farmers Resources for Canadian "explorers," but relevant to US beginning farmers as well.

"Getting Established in Farming" Targeted at people considering becoming farmers. Primarily focused on how to join or become a partner in established farm businesses. Midwest, conventional commodity focus. Part of the Business Management for Farmers series. Available from the NESFI Bookstore

Farm Business Start-up Checklist  A "to-do" list of tasks to accomplish before you open your farm business. Download the PDF to the left.

Family Friendly Farming: A Multigenerational Home-Based Business Testament. Salatin, Joel. Swoope, VA: Polyface, Inc., 2001. Guidelines for making the farm business include and satisfy the whole family. Available from Acres USA, (800) 355-5313 or www.acresusa.com.

So You Want to Be a Farmer. Canadian Farm Business Management Council, 1999. Guide for Canadian beginning farmers, relevant to US beginning farmers as well. Download the PDF to the left.

"Finding the Niche: Case Studies of Beginning Small-Scale Farmers" Stories of start-up farms in Wisconsin. Download the PDF to the left. Also available from the NESFI Bookstore.

"The New American Farmer" These case studies profile successful, sustainable farmers from across the country, including many from the Northeast. These make an excellent supplement to I-person interviews. Also available from the NESFI Bookstore.

"Listening to New Farmers: Findings from New Farmer Focus Groups" (PDF left) Summary of focus groups with a wide range of beginning and aspiring farmers. Written to help service providers better understand beginning farmers, but interesting for beginning farmers as well. Also available from the NESFI Bookstore.

"Directory of Programs and Services for Northeast New Farmers" List of organizations and programs serving beginning farmers throughout the Northeast. Includes access to land, credit, training, legal information and much more. Available from the NESFI Bookstore.

"DACUM Occupational Profile for Northeast Small-Scale ‘Sustainable' Farmer" Chart and Self-Assessment Tool provide an outline of the job of farming, breaking it into a series of duties and tasks. Developed by a panel of experienced farmers.