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Beginning Farmer Articles from Small Farm Quarterly

Articles On New Farm Start-up

Together with the Video Mentor gallery, the following articles by successful farmers and ag professionals offer a wealth of wisdom learned the hard way. Many of these articles recommend challenging yourself to articulate your goals and resources, and your plans for marketing and financing. You can use the online worksheets built into the tutorials in “Plan Your Farm” to start working through these questions for your farm.

Please note: Most of these articles were first published in the award-winning Small Farm Quarterly. See the Small Farm Quarterly archives for more articles.


  • Making it in Farming – by Gerard Monnat, farmer and writer
  • Making New Ventures Less Risky – by Molly Ames, formerly of Cornell Cooperative Ext – Jefferson Cty.
  • Getting Started in Farming–Make a Marketing Plan – by Steve Richards, formerly NY FarmNet
  • PR 101: How to Use PR to Help You, Your Farm, and Your Business, by Michael Seinberg
  • Learning and Traveling by “WWOOFing”, by Elizabeth Burrichter
  • The Best Tool in the Beginning Small Farmer’s Toolbox: Mentorship, by Melissa Madden


  • Four Reasons to Take a Farm Business Class, by Jessie Schmidt
  • Loan Opportunities for New Farmers, by Kristie Schmitt
  • FarmStart: Continuing the Tradition of Agriculture in the Northeast, by Kristie Schmitt

Farmland Access

  • One Solution for Farmland Access, by Kevin Egolf
  • Connecting Aspiring Farmers with Existing Land: Connecticut Farm Link Program, by Jane Slupeki
  • How to Love a Farmland Lease, by Rachel Carter
  • New Farms Sprouted through Conservancy Lease Program, by Michael Chameides


  • Livestock Farming as a Second Career – by Carol McGee, McRey Farm
  • Is Poultry Production the Right Enterprise for You? – by Lynn O’Brien, CCE – Allegany Cty.
  • Getting Started with Meat Goats (page 1, page 2) – by tatiana Stanton, Cornell Sheep & Goat Program
  • Low-Risk Start-up? Think Sheep – by Julie Berry, NY Animal Agriculture Coalition
  • Trials and Tribulations of a New Grazier – by Billie Best, Regional Farm and Food Project
  • The First-Year Egg Farmer, by Sam Anderson
  • Backyard Poultry 101, by Nancy Glazier
  • How to Get Started with Sheep, by Ulf Kintzel


  • Finger Lakes Dexter Creamery – by Chanda Lindsay, formerly Cornell Cooperative Ext – Cayuga
  • Planning a Farmstead Cheese Operation – by Fay Benson, Cornell Small Farms Program and CCE – Cortland Cty.
  • Seasonal Dairy Start-up – by Fay Benson, Cornell Small Farms Program and CCE – Cortland Cty.


  • Getting Started in Christmas Tree Production (page 1, page 2) – by Elizabeth Lamb, NY IPM Program
  • Big Bucks from Small Spaces – by Erica Frenay, Cornell Small Farms Program
  • Get Started With Spin Farming, by Linda Borghi
  • Vegetable Equipment Considerations for New Farmers: Cultivation, by Sara Runkel and Tianna DuPont

Profiles of New Farmers

  • Greasing the Farm Wheels: Tips from a Former First Year Farmer, by Alicia Anderson
  • Making it Work: Couple Transforms Fallow Plot into Viable Farm, by Jaclyn Rose Bruntfield
  • Doing a Lot with a Little–Starting on Shoestring – by Nancy Glazier and Bill Henning
  • Cultivating a Career, by Rachel Fussell
  • New Jersey’s Beginning Farmers: The Journeyperson Interviews, by Erica Evans
  • Counting Our Blessings, by Emmaline Long and David Popielinski
  • The Education of a Beginning Goat Farmer, by Stephanie Fisher
  • The Dance of Farming, by June Bartos
  • A Long Row and a Good Day, by Max Taylor
  • New Farm, Old Farmland, by Michael Chameides
  • Working Oxen on the Farm Today, by Jake Czaja
  • Maine’s Original Duck Farm, by Gina Simmons and Ryan Wilson
  • Second Life Farming, by Mason Donovan
  • From Hobby Farm to Farm Business: Laughing Goat Fiber Farm, by Monika Roth

More Articles and Profiles of Successful Farms in NY

Reading stories about those who have successfully done what you’ve been dreaming of is both inspiring and motivating. Visit the Small Farm Quarterly archives to find more food for thought!