Online Courses

For Aspiring, New, & Experienced Farmers

“The expertise and resources presented and available in the course are awesome and arm me with the information needed to make better decisions”

  • Interactive 5-7-week courses connect you to the information and people you need to start a successful farm business or diversify your farm
  • Led by experienced educators and farmers
  • Take a single course or start at the beginning and work your way through the courses in order
  • While most courses can be taken by people anywhere in the world, check the course description to confirm whether your course is targeted to those farming (or planning to farm) in the Northeastern US

Visit the course calendar or course descriptions to see the offerings of all our courses organized by season.

Registration for the 2014-2015 season is now open! Use the links below to view target audience, learning objectives, weekly outline, and more for each course.

Choosing Courses

How to decide which are best for you:

If you are:

We recommend:

Just exploring farming, not yet sure if it’s right for you. You may (or may not) own land, but have not yet taken any steps to develop an agricultural business. BF 101: Square One and BF 102: Market and Profits are good places to begin articulating your resources and goals and exploring enterprise possibilities. Also, the Exploring the Small Farm Dream course (NOT online) offered by the New England Small Farm Institute. If you can’t find a course offered near you, you can still do the work independently through the “Explorer” book sold in their online bookstore.
Actively planning to start a farm within the next two years.
You have rudimentary knowledge, but seek more information about production, marketing and business management practices.
BF 101: Square One
BF 102: Markets and Profits
BF 103: Taking Care of Business
BF 104: Financial Records
BF 110: Soil Health
BF 120 and 121: Vegetable Farming
BF 122: Berry Production
BF 130: Poultry Production
BF 140: Small-Scale Organic Grain Production
BF 202: Planning to Stay in Business
Already farming for 1 to 3 years, still exploring and learning what is and isn’t going to work for your particular operation.
BF 103: Taking Care of Business
BF 104: Financial Records
BF 110: Soil Health
BF 120
and 121: Vegetable Farming
BF 122: Berry Production
BF 130: Poultry Production
BF 140: Small-Scale Organic Grain Production
BF 202: Planning to Stay in Business
BF 203: Holistic Financial Planning
Farming 4-10 years, maturing your farming systems and possibly still diversifying
BF 104: Financial Records if you haven’t yet set up record-keeping systems
BF 110: Soil Health to learn how to incorporate practices to ensure the long-term viability of your most important resource
BF 202: Planning to Stay in Business, and
BF 203: Holistic Financial Planning
These courses will help you write your full marketing or business plan if you haven’t already. These plans are great tools to guide your decisions and help you secure loans or grants to expand your farm.Any of our production-oriented courses may help you explore adding a new enterprise to your operation: BF 120: Vegetable Farming, BF 122: Berry Production, BF 130: Poultry Production, or BF 140: Growing Small-scale Organic Grains

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Need Small Farms Info?

Visit our sister Small Farms Programsite, the Cornell Small Farms Program