Farm Beginnings Whole Farm Planning Course

If you are interested in learning more about FARMroots' Beginning Farmer Program please email Maria Rojas at

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. 

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 to ten sessions on weekday afternoons. Click here to see the Farm Beginnings Class schedule for 2014-2015.

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


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.

Technical Assistance

FARMroots 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

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