You are here

Farm Beginnings
"The Farm Beginings class was one of the most insightful experiences I've had so far on my path to farming. I've taken other new farmer courses, and the NFDP  was the most helpful byfar in terms of teaching whole farm planning, holistic management, and developing a financially viable farm plan that acknowledges real world realities.  
The length of the course allows for deeper exploration of the topics and the schedule of classes though demanding is condensed into a few months. And most importantly the instructors really care about our success. The NFDP has a proven track record of helping to get farmers on the land. Farmers from our communities who look like us and speak our language. Not to mention they speak our languages. The farmers who came back to speak with us all mentioned how important the NFDP had been to their farming ventures. 
This class won't teach you how to farm, but it will let you know if you're ready to farm and help you figure out how to get there if you're not. I thank the NFDP and Farm Beginnings for helping me chart a path on to having a farm."
- Arian Rivera

NYC Farm Beginnings

NYC Farm Beginnings is a comprehensive agricultural training program developed for new farmers by experienced farmers and FARMroots staff. The program is designed for a wide range of participants looking to start farm enterprises, including immigrant farmers with agricultural experience from their home countries, NYC urban farmers looking to scale-up, second career farm entrepreneurs, and landowners looking to develop farm enterprises on their land. For more information please email 

Whole Farm Planning Course (Click here to see the Farm Beginnings Class schedule for 2014)

After ten years of training new farmers through the New Farmer Development Project’s (NFDP) “La Nueva Siembra (The New Seed)” business training course, FARMroots has teamed up with Hawthorne Valley Farm to offer the Farm Beginnings Whole Farm Planning Course.

The original Farm Beginnings curriculum was developed by the Land Stewardship Project and the Angelic Organic Learning Center and has been customized by FARMroots staff to meet the needs of Northeast farmers from diverse cultural backgrounds.  The course focuses on goal setting, financial management, marketing development, and accessing appropriate land resources.

The class is held once a year in the fall and continues into the early winter. We meet for eight sessions every other Saturday from 10:00am – 4:00pm. The general class topics are as follows (subject to change):

         Clarifying your Values and Setting your Farm Goals

         Shaping Your Farm Enterprise

         Nutrient Cycles and Integration of Livestock (@Hawthorne Valley Farm)

         Creating a Financial Plan

         Marketing Your Products

         Land, Legal, and Loans

         Student Presentations

Course fees are based on a sliding scale. The course is offered in both English and Spanish through the use of simultaneous interpretation equipment.


As part of the Farm Beginnings Whole Farm Planning course we offer a series of beginning level skills workshops and on-farm field days. These events are designed to give aspiring farmers a sense of the agricultural region around New York City while also introducing them to New Farmer Development project staff and some of the farmers who have previously graduated from the course. Please click here for a list of upcoming beginning farmer workshops and field days.


In addition to the classroom sessions each participant will have the opportunity to meet with an experience farmer mentor to gain skills in a relevant agricultural enterprise. All graduates will have an opportunity to meet with a mentor for at least one two hour session. There are also longer-term mentorship opportunities available for those who feel they need it.