Farmer Resources

Business Tools

  • Cost of Production Worksheets — NOFA-VT, along with NOFA New Hampshire and NOFA Mass have worked with 30 organic vegetable growers to determine the cost of production of vegetables commonly grown in the Northeast. The results were used to produce five crop factsheets on potatoes, onions, carrots, winter squash, and lettuce,  as well as crop profitability comparisons, whole farm financial metrics, tips for success when undertaking cost of production analysis, and a blank copy of the cost of production workbook. 

  • Farm Stand Audit Tool — This tool will help you evaluate all aspects of your farm store or farm stand, from stocking to staffing to pricing. Using this audit, you will be able to think critically about your systems and improve and streamline your operation, leading to increased sales and margins in your retail operation.

  • Cutting Through the Noise: Sucessful Marketing Campaigns that Reach Consumers — Watch the recording of Rose Wilson and Jean Hamilton present on successful marketing campaigns at the 2018 Vermont Farmers Market Conference. Also, access marketing resources including the market research workbook, developing a marketing campaign handout, marketing tools and activities cheat sheet, target customer cheat sheet, features and benefits cheat sheet, and marketing matrix sheet. 

 

Resources for Farm Labor

  • Labor Regulations for Farmers — FAQ on labor regulation in Vermont including the definition of agriculural work, apprentices and interns, and minimum wage.  

 

Land Access

  • UVM's New Farmer Project — Under the University of Vermont's Center for Sustainable Agriculture, the New Farmer Project includes a land access coaching program intended to help both farmers looking for land and those looking to make their land available to farmers.
  • Vermont Land Link — Vermont Land Link makes it easy for farm properties to be posted, and for farm seekers to search through them. It is free, simple, state-wide, automated and constantly current, serving as a friendly portal for property holders and farmland seekers.
  • New England Land Link — Facilitates the transfer of farms, lease agreements, rentals, or work-ins between New England farmers and landholders. For $10/year, farmers join NELL to receive updated web-based listings.
  • Vermont Land Trust Farmland Access Program — Helps farmers gain access to quality and affordable farmland.
  • Land for Good's "Acquiring Your Farm" — An online course for farm seekers to help determine the best land acquisition options and make an action plan.
  • New England Farmland Finder — This site was created with a consortium of New England land link programs to help New England’s farm seekers and farm property holders find each other.
  • NOFA-VT Classifieds — If you are a NOFA-VT member, you have access to our Classifieds section on the website where you can easily search for farm properties and post offers for your own farm land.

 

Understanding Soil Tests

  • Soil Test from UVM — The UVM commercial soil test is a good, inexpensive basic nutrient test, which also includes percent organic matter, CEC (Cation Exchange Capacity), Ca:Mg:K ratios, and micro-nutrients. Take a heavy metal test if you have never take one on that field or it is a new field.
  • Land Evaluation: Vermont NRCS  — Natural Resources Conservation Service staff can help you determine what type of soil you have, its properties, erosion potential, drainage, droughtiness, productivity, and other properties. There are also fee-based private consultants who can also help you; please call NOFA Vermont technical advisors for assistance in finding private consultant.

 

Financing Opportunities 

  • Government Programs for Organic Growers — State and federal programs available to help farmers conserve resources and energy through technical assistance and flat rate annual payments. Please note some government programs have additional incentives for beginning farmers.
  • Grants available for Farmers — State, federal and national grants available for farmers to try new ideas and develop business.
  • NOFA Vermont Revolving Loan Fund — Loans of $2,000-$15,000 for operating cash, improving the business or livestock and equipment, but not for buying land. Applicants are reviewed by a peer loan fund advisory board, and must under go a credit check.

 

Land Use Resources 

  • Rural Enterprises Information — These resources help to support farms with understanding how land use regulations affect the rural enterprises they may develop or already have on their farms. 

 

Networks & Other Programs

  • University of Vermont Extension — University of Vermont Extension has many agriculture programs that help beginning farmers, inluding the UVM New Farmer Program, UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture, and Women's Agricultural Netowrk (WAgn) 
  • USDA New Farmers — USDA's New Farmers website allows potential and beginning farmers to search for programs and resources that will help them find training, financing, technical assistance, and support networks 
  • New England Small Farm Institute — Promotes small farm development by providing information and training for aspiring, beginning and transitioning farmers.
  • Cornell University Beginning Farmer Program — Cornell University provides educational support to farmers, including a video series. The "Voices of Experience," video series has experienced growers talking about farming and the experiences starting a farm.
  • Greenhorns Program — The Greenhorns is a non-traditional grassroots non-profit organization made up of young farmers and a diversity of collaborators. Their mission is to recruit, promote and support the new generation of young farmers by producing avant-garde programming, video, audio, web content, publications, events, and art projects that increase the odds for success and enhance the profile and social lives of America’s young farmers.
  • National Young Farmers Coalition — The National Young Farmers Coalition supports practices and policies that will sustain young, independent and prosperous farmers.Their website includes extension resources for young farmers, support of several national campaigns that impact young farmers, and the website of the Vermont Young Farmers Coalition Chapter

 

Books & Publications