The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association is accepting applications for Heartland Farm Beginnings, a community-based, farmer-led, field-tested, in-depth farmer training program which helps beginning farmers create successful sustainable agriculture businesses.
The program’s inaugural implementation in Ohio, Heartland Farm Beginnings boasts a record of instructing hundreds of farmers, who have graduated from the program and already have demonstrated an amount of success.
At the end of last year, a record 71 percent of program graduates were still farming, according to a press release.
“Participants are able to tap the knowledge of some of the most innovative and skilled farmers operating in the Midwest, as well as develop lifelong friendships and networks with other beginning farmers,” said Kelly Henderson, Begin Farming Program Coordinator at OEFFA. “They learn critical farm management skills and innovative marketing strategies to help build a business plan for their own farm.”
The year-long program begins in October with 10 business planning sessions throughout the fall and winter.
The planning sessions are followed by the development of an individualized learning plan for the growing season to facilitate continuing education.
Participants also may receive mentoring from successful sustainable agriculture farmers through internships, employment, or technical assistance arrangements, the press release detailed.
The course fee is $1,200 and includes a membership in OEFFA and registration to the 2018 OEFFA conference. The deadline to apply is Sept. 15. For an application packet or more details, visit www.oeffa.org/q/farmbeginnings.
Space is limited to 25 new farmers, so early applications are encouraged. Individuals who apply by Aug. 15 receive an early-bird discount of $200.
The association, a non-profit organization founded in 1979 by farmers, gardeners, and conscientious eaters who committed to work together to create and promote a sustainable and healthful food and farming system, has partnered with the Farm Beginnings Collaborative, a national alliance of regional groups, which offers Farm Beginnings programs in 13 states.