General Beginning Farmer Resources

University Options, Education, Training

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 Chemeketa Agriculture Complex serves as a hub to expand classes and facilities to better meet the training needs of farms and nurseries in our Willamette Valley region. (link)

Rogue Farm Corp offers a suite of farmer training options across the state of Oregon including paid apprenticeships and fellowships, and an educational event series. (link)

The State of Oregon offers tractor training safety courses for youth and adults. (link)

Serving eastern Oregon, the OSU Agriculture & Natural Resource Program is a cooperative partnership between Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Eastern Oregon University. (link)

The Come Thru Market Farmer Training Program supports beginning farmers of color in Portland in building their farmers market readiness and success. This program is specifically designed for people of color, including immigrants and refugees. (link)

Adelante Mujeres’s Agriculture and Food Sovereignty Program teaches closed-loop growing and other best farming practices to new and beginning Latine farmers and members of the Latine community interested in growing their own food and improving the health of their families and community. (link)

Feed’em Freedom Foundation (FFF) ignites and centers Black Agriculturists to participate as owners and movement leaders within agriculture, land stewardship, regional food security response, and economic prosperity. (link)

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)

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)

Internship Programs

NCAT provides a national database for farm-based interships (link)

Rogue Farm Corp’s Apprenticeship Program offers connection to seasonal employment and training with partner host farms in Oregon. (link)

Zenger Farm offers internships that teach farming skills and help build a career in the food system. (link)

Incubator Farms

Headwaters Farm Incubator Program is designed to assist in the development of new farmers. The program involves leasing out sections of EMSWCD’s Headwaters Farm to motivated, experienced individuals who will use it as a launching pad for their own farming endeavors. (link)

Job Boards

Oregon Farm Link has its own job board for farm job postings throughout Oregon and surrounding areas (link)

Oregon Community Food Systems Network lists food systems jobs that include farms and food system service providers. (link)

Good Food Jobs advertises a national jobs board with jobs in agriculture and adjacent food sector work. Site visitors can narrow the search by region and type of job. (link)

General Resources

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)

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

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

Oregon Beginning Farmer and Rancher Services Directory (read more)

The Greenhorns have created a documentary on issues facing beginning farmers, and a Guide for Beginning Farmers. (read more)

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)

The USDA’s Resources for Small and Mid-sized Farmers share information about access to capital, land management and conservation practices, managing risk, finding local markets, and other educational resources. (link)

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

USDA’s Risk Management Agency provides enterprise calculators, evaluations and planning guides. (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.

Resource Categories

Search Resource Library