Online classes for beginning farmers now open for enrollment


ITHACA, N.Y. — The Northeast Beginning Farmer Project will offer seven online courses this fall, including four new topics, to help you continue your farming education.

As always, courses are taught by experienced Cooperative Extension educators, farmers and other specialists.

Courses are typically six weeks long, cost $175, and include both real-time meetings (online webinars) and on-your-own time reading and activities.


They do not offer any academic credit, but those who successfully complete a course will receive a certificate and are also eligible for Farm Service Agency (FSA) borrower training credit, which can improve eligibility to receive a low-interest FSA loan.


The introductory-level course is for those still in the exploring and early planning stages, BF 101: Square One, will help you get clear about your goals, skills and available resources.

If you’re well beyond that stage and ready to write a full business plan, sign up for the BF 202: Planning to Stay in Business course, which will help you prepare to seek funding from banks and other lenders.

Need some guidance setting up financial recordkeeping systems? Then BF 104: Financial Records is for you.

On the production side, they offer:

• BF 120: Veggie Farming: This jam-packed course has now been divided into two parts (with BF 121 being offered in January).

BF 120 covers the planning, budgeting, site selection and planting.

• BF 121 will pick up where BF 120 leaves off and take you through considerations in season-long care, harvest and marketing.

• BF 130: Poultry Production will cover the basic requirements of producing and profiting from chickens, ducks and turkeys.

• BF 105: Machinery and Equipment, another new course designed to help you weigh your options and make smart decisions about what’s best for your farm scale and situation.

• BF 110: Soil Health returns again to introduce growers at all levels of experience to practical on-farm applications of soil health concepts. This course will again incorporate an optional in-person field day at a farm in northern New York that will demonstrate improvement of soil health on a working farm.


To learn more about each course, visit From this site you can see the full calendar of courses, learn more about our instructors, see answers to frequently asked questions, read details for each course, and even visit a sample online course.

Courses often fill very quickly, so sign up today.

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