New England Small Farms Institute

New England Small Farms Institute

General Beginning Farmer


New farmers may be new to farming, or they may have grown up on a farm. New farmers may be young, but they may just as likely be career changers or retirees. New farmers may be exploring the idea of starting a farm, actively planning to start a farm, or be in the first years of operation. The USDA defines beginning farmers as anyone in the first 10 years of operating a farm.

Whether you are an “explorer,” a “planner” or a beginning farmer at any stage of business, you will find helpful resources on this website.

New England Small Farms Institute’s webpage has resources for new farmers, including a small scale “sustainable” farmer skill self-assessment tool and occupational profile tool they have developed to see if your characteristics match up.


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