Begin Farming Mentorship Program

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

become mentors  

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 
  • Marketing 
  • Farm design and management 
  • Developing a farm business plan 
  • Transitioning to organic production 
  • Other goals as identified by the mentee 

Application and Matching Process

Applications for 2022 growing season mentorships are currently closed. Check back in the fall of 2022 for 2023 mentorship applications.

This program is supported by NIFA USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (2019-49400-30033).

Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association
41 Croswell Rd.
Columbus OH 43214


OEFFA:(614) 421-2022 (614) 421-2022
OEFFA Certification:(614) 262-2022 (614) 262-2022