Beginning Farmer Program

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

Farmer Assistance's Beginning Farmer Program identifies, educates, and supports aspiring farmers with agricultural experience from predominantly marginalized communities to establish their own economically and environmentally sustainable farm businesses in the NYC region. Our flagship programs include our Farm Beginnings course in English offered every year starting in January and our La Nueva Siembra (LNS) course in Spanish offered every year starting in March. 

Applications for the 2025 Farm Beginnings course will open in September. If you'd like to be notified when applications open, please write to and ask to be added to the list.

By helping the next generation of regional farmers to establish sustainable farm business, the Beginning Farmer Program (BFP) helps keep farmland in production and strengthens rural communities, farmers markets and the region’s food system as a whole. BFP farmers grow a range of unique products originating from around the world, and expand public access to high-quality, locally-grown farm products. 

Project Facts and Milestones:

  • More than 315 aspiring farmers have completed Farm Beginnings.
  • 48 farmers and their families have started their own independent farm businesses with the support of Farmer Assistance.
  • Graduate farmers sell a variety of vegetables, specialty herbs, pastured poultry, eggs, cut and potted flowers, honey, small fruits and plants at nearly 60 farmers markets throughout New York City, the Hudson Valley and New Jersey.
  • Graduate farmers keep a total of 400 acres of farmland in production.
  • 10 graduate farmers have purchased farmland, and collectively own 117 acres.
  • 7 graduate farmers have long-term leases with landowners.
  • 12 graduate farmers sell through 18 CSAs, providing approximately 1,100 individual shares.
  • Graduate farmers are extremely effective at provinding access to fresh food, selling at 25 farmers markets and 18 CSAs.

Farmer Assistance​ Contact:

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  • Food Access & Agriculture

    Our network of Greenmarket farmers markets and Farmstands, coupled with GrowNYC Wholesale, ensures that all New Yorkers have access to the freshest, healthiest local food.

  • Zero Waste

    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 gardens and urban farms 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.