Farm Beginnings Whole Farm Planning Course

If you are interested in learning more about Farmer Assistance's Beginning Farmer Program please email Gabriela Pereyra at

NYC Farm Beginnings is a comprehensive agricultural training program developed for new farmers by experienced farmers and Farmer Assistance 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. 

Applicants with at least one full season of farming experience or extensive gardening knowledge will be considered for the Farm Beginnings course which will run Tuesday evenings from 6-9pm starting on October 8th. Full schedule here. The course covers values-based goal setting, financial planning, marketing, access to land, capital, and legal requirements and considerations.

Applications for the Farm Beginnings course are closed as of September 15 and we are currently in the review process. The applications for this course will reopen in Summer 2019, and we welcome everyone to join us for our field days and on-farm workshops when they begin in Spring 2019.

Graduates of the course receive three years of free, one-on-one technical assistance as they continue to build the necessary skills, and/or their farm businesses.


In addition to the classroom sessions each participant will have the opportunity to meet with an experienced farmer mentor to gain skills in a relevant agricultural enterprise.

Technical Assistance

Farmer Assistance provides technical assistance to all graduates of the Farm Beginnings Course. Staff will support you in creating a concrete farm plan and in taking the steps necessary to start farming.

Field Days and Workshops

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.

"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." 
- Arian Rivera, 2012 Graduate

In a moment where New Yorkers have turned to parks and gardening to ease the mental and emotional strain the Covid-19 pandemic has taken on residents, when the need for education surrounding nutrition and health couldn’t be more critical, the same nonprofits that make green space and nutrition education possible are in danger of going under, while vital city agencies like the New York City Parks Department’s GreenThumb program are facing severe budget cuts.

  • Food Access & Agriculture

    Our network of Greenmarket farmers markets, Youthmarkets, Fresh Food Box pick-ups, and Greenmarket Co. ensures that all New Yorkers have access to the freshest, healthiest local food.

  • Conservation

    We provide food scrap drop-offs, clothing collections, Stop 'N' Swap® community reuse events, and zero waste trainings to make resource conservation easy for all.

  • Green Space

    We build and rejuvenate community & school gardens in all 5 boroughs, and support even more gardens through volunteer days, technical assistance, school garden grants, & more.

  • Education

    We foster future environmental stewards by providing 66,000 children each year with programs that provide meaningful interactions with the natural environment.