Coaching the Next Farm Team
About the Mentorship Program
Be a part of the future of farming! Starting a farm business is hard, and experienced farmers have a wealth of knowledge and skills to pass on to the next team of farmers. A mentoring relationship not only benefits a new farmer, but can also provide mentors with new learning and networking opportunities.
Program Overview and Benefits
- Eight-month mentorship between one mentee (or farm unit) and one mentor
- Monthly communication initiated by mentee
- One visit by the mentor to the mentee’s farm (or an alternate site if the mentee is still seeking land)
- Program fee of $75 paid by the mentee
- Mentor honorarium of $275
- Support services from OEFFA’s Begin Farming Team
Who is eligible to be a mentor? What is a mentor’s role?
Farmers with substantial experience (typically 10 years or more) in commercial farming are eligible to
Support provided by the mentor may include:
- Responding to specific questions from their mentee
- Aiding in development of management skills
- Identifying realistic plans and implementing new ideas
- Assisting in setting and meeting goals
Who is eligible to be a mentee? What is a mentee’s role?
Those farming for commercial purposes for less than 10 years are eligible to become a mentee. Mentees will receive special guidance, feedback, and support from a mentor. The mentee will complete a Farming Skills Evaluation to assess current skill levels. The mentee will then complete a Growing Season Learning Plan with the mentor to set specific learning goals and timelines to guide the mentorship.
Learning goals for the mentee may include:
- Scaling up production
- Engaging in a new farm enterprise
- Farm design and management
- Developing a farm business plan
- Transitioning to organic production
- Other goals as identified by the mentee
Application and Matching Process
This program is supported by NIFA USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (2019-49400-30033).