General Beginning Farmer Resources

General Resources, Support, Education & Advice


The Oregon State University Small Farms Program is a great resource for beginning and smaller farmers, offering classes, workshops, trainings and online tools. (link)

The Oregon Department of Agriculture’s New and Small Farmers page has links to a variety of resources for Oregon small and beginning farmers. (link)

Start2Farm is the USDA National Agricultural Library’s new resource for young and beginning farmers and ranchers, including financial, training and technical resources. (link)

The USDA’s New Farmer Page has resources on everything from education to grants. (link)

USDA’s Resources for Small and Mid-Sized Farmers page also provides information on programs available to beginning and newer farmers. (link)

Beginning Farmers is a website and blog that provides a large clearinghouse of information and resources on Financing (loans/grants), Finding Land, Business Planning, Production, Marketing, Events, Publications, and much more. (link)

New England Small Farms Institute’s webpage has resources for new farmers (read more)

New Enterprise Planning from the Risk Management Agency includes enterprise calculators, evaluations and planning guides. (link)

Civil Eats publishes a regular column aimed at uniting young farmers. (link)

The Greenhorns have created a documentary on issues facing beginning farmers (read more)

Financing & Loans


Oregon’s Beginning and Expanding Farmer Lending Program (‘Aggie Bonds’) — This program allows lenders to provide lower interest lending to qualifying beginning farmers. It is administered by Business Oregon, but potential applications should consult a lender before applying. (link)

Northwest Farm Credit Services specializes in loans to farmers and ranchers. They offer AgVision loans for Young and Beginning Farmers and are also offering ‘Aggie Bond’ backed loans in Oregon and Washington. (link)

The Oregon Farm Service Agency office can help connect you with a variety of federal farm loan options (read more)

Oregon has a Community Public Offering tool available to food and agriculture businesses to raise up to $250,000 by crowdsourcing small loans from Oregon residents. (link)

KIVA Zip is another potential source for crowdfunding loans for small farm businesses. (link)

Additional Financing Resources can be found here. (link)

Grant Resources for Beginning Farmers


Value-Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG) – through USDA Rural Development, the VAPG provides 50% matching grants to farmers for planning or working capital purposes to implement value-added ventures such as marketing or processing. The program seeks to support the generation of new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income. Beginning and socially-disadvantaged farmers may receive priority. (link)

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides grants for farmers to implement a wide array of conservation practices (read more)

The Organic Cost-Share Reimbursement Program helps cover costs related to attaining or maintaining USDA Organic certification. Eligible operations are reimbursed up to 75% of their organic certification costs, not to exceed $750 per year. (link)

The ODA provides Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audits and trainings to assist with food safety planning, and may have funding available for small and beginning farmers (GAP Cost Share) to cover a percentage of the costs related to attaining (GAP) certification. (link)

Specialty Crop Block Grants are offered annually, and are accessible to non-profits, local governments, producer groups, universities and other organizations to enhance the production or competitiveness of Oregon’s specialty crop industries. (link)

The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a USDA Farm Service Agency program which provides rental payments to farmers to manage environmentally sensitive land for conservation benefits. Sign-ups occur annually. (link)

The CRP Transition Incentives Program (TIP) provides retired or retiring land owners or operators with two additional annual rental payments on land enrolled in expiring Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts, on the condition they sell or rent this land to a beginning farmer or rancher or to a socially disadvantaged group. (link)

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) is not a farmer grant opportunity, but is available to non-profit organizations, universities, state and local government entities, and other organizations to develop and offer education, training, outreach and mentoring programs to enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers. (link)

See our full Grants Resources Page here. (link)

Friends of Family Farmers provides these resources solely for educational purposes. Friends of Family Farmers neither favors nor endorses any of the organizations listed on this website, nor are they responsible for any incorrect information that is listed on the hyperlinked external sites.

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