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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 Portal –, website designed to walk existing or aspiring farmers through planning process of starting or diversifying a farm. Also contains interactive map for locating service providers, built-in worksheets for farm planning, video clips of advice for new farmers, and info. about online courses for planning a new farm.
  • Cornell Small Farms Program – - 607-255-9227
    Website contains a wealth of information about production, marketing, and business management
  • ATTRA (Appropriate Technology Transfer to Rural Areas) –
    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 – 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: – covers everything of interest to organic farmers


  • Farming Alternatives: A Guide to Evaluating the Feasibility of New Farm-Based Enterprises, available from NRAES, or 607-255-7654
  • Building a Sustainable Business: A Guide to Developing a Business Plan for Farms and Rural Businesses, available online in PDF format from:
  • Starting an Ag Business? A Pre-Planning Guide by Steve Richards, available online in PDF format from:
  • You Can Farm by Joel Salatin – plenty of advice for new farmers, written by a successful livestock farmer


  • Small Farm Quarterly – all articles available online at:
  • Acres USA – Voice for Eco-Agriculture
  • Growing for Market –


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 for details in the fall.
  • PASA – the Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) holds its annual conference in February in State College, PA. Check 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 –

This fact sheet is part of the Guide to Farming in NY by Monika Roth et al, published by the Cornell Small Farms Program and Cornell Cooperative Extension. Fact sheets are updated once annually, so information may have changed since last revision. If you are reading a printed version of a fact sheet, compare revision date with online fact sheet publish dates at to make sure you have the latest version.

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