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#34 Information Resources for Getting Started

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Websites

There are numerous online resources to help you learn how to grow or market specific products. These are a few that have been verified for content.

      • Northeast Beginning Farmer Project – a collaboration of Cornell Small Farms Program and several other organizations  – nebeginningfarmers.org. This site is designed to walk existing or aspiring farmers through the planning process of starting a new farm. It also contains video clips, links to online courses for new farmers, worksheets, and a map to help farmers find people to provide assistance.
      • Cornell Small Farms Program –  www.smallfarms.cornell.edu – 607-255-9227 – contains a wealth of information about production, marketing, and business management
      • ATTRA (Appropriate Technology Transfer to Rural Areas) – www.attra.org
        Toll-free helpline:
        800-346-9140 (English) 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time
        800-411-3222 (Español) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time
      • eXtension – www.extension.org is an interactive learning environment that has information on agriculture production and business management issues. The information posted here represents the best information based upon researchers and educators across the country. New content is added regularly.
      • Rodale Institute’s New Farm website: http://rodaleinstitute.org/farm/newfarm/ – covers everything of interest to organic farmers

Books

      • Building a Sustainable Business: A Guide to Developing a Business Plan for Farms and Rural Businesses, available online in PDF format from: http://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Books/Building-a-Sustainable-Business
      • Starting an Ag Business? A Pre-Planning Guide by Steve Richards, available online in PDF format from:  http://dyson.cornell.edu/outreach/extensionpdf/2004/Cornell_AEM_eb0408.pdf
      • You Can Farm by Joel Salatin – plenty of advice for new farmers, written by a successful livestock farmer
      • The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook by Richard Wiswall – contains excellent advice and a clear process for managing your farm for profit, also comes with a CD with template forms. Available from Chelsea Green Publishers.

Journals/Magazines

      • Small Farm Quarterly – all articles available in PDF format online at: http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/quarterly/
      • Acres USA – Voice for Eco-Agriculture  www.acresusa.com/magazines/magazine.htm
      • Growing for Market – www.growingformarket.com  

Conferences/Events

Reading and research are great, but if you want to start a farm, the best way is to  learn from farmers who are already doing it!

      • NOFA-NY – the Northeast Organic Farming Association’s (NOFA) of NY Annual Conference is in January each year – check www.nofany.org for details in the fall.
      • PASA – the Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) holds its annual conference in February in State College, PA. Check www.pasafarming.org for details.

Sign up to receive the monthly Small Farms Update, which contains links to several event calendars, as well as resources useful to farmers – http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/contact/e-news-sign-up/

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