Fielding the Next Farm Team

With 10 percent of small farmers exiting farming each year, and a current median farming age of 59, helping new farmers successfully enter and thrive in their businesses is vitally important for the future of U.S. agriculture.

But, beginning farmers face significant hurdles, including attaining knowledge, skills, and experience in production practices; acquiring the fundamental business planning and financial management knowledge and skills; and accessing farmland and capital as part of the substantial investment farming requires.

To help address this, OEFFA’s Begin Farming Program provides aspiring and early career farmers (those farming 10 years or less) the support they need to understand what it takes to get into farming and grow their businesses. The goal of the program is to increase the number of successful sustainable and organic farmers in Ohio.

Programs for Aspiring Farmers

Seasonal Farm Jobs

During the growing season, aspiring farmers have an opportunity to train and work on Ohio host farms through the Seasonal Farm Jobs program. 

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Programs for Early Career Farmers

Technical and Educational Assistance

Farmers can receive one-on-one assistance on topics like production techniques, organic transition, soil health, USDA programs, resources, and funding by picking up the phone or sending an email. OEFFA has staff dedicated to help farmers troubleshoot problems and access resources.

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Farm Tour and Workshop Series

The OEFFA Sustainable Farm Tour Series offers many opportunities for beginning and experienced farmers alike to gather and learn from other farmers in the region. Tours span the entire season and cover a wide array of growers and growing techniques. Come experience the agricultural diversity that Ohio has to offer!

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Beginning Farmer Facebook Group

Looking for another way to connect? OEFFA’s Facebook group—OEFFA’s Next Farm Team—is for you! It’s a friendly, inclusive forum for beginning farmers to network, ask questions, and share ideas, resources, events, and photos.

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New Farmer Training Opportunities

Each season provides many training opportunities for beginning and transitioning farmers alike to learn firsthand about identifying values, setting goals, planning for a farm business, finding farmland, and much more. Keep an eye out on this page and in our newsletter for what’s coming up!

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OEFFA’s Annual Conference

As the largest sustainable agriculture gathering in Ohio, the annual OEFFA conference is an invaluable opportunity for beginning farmers to connect with other farmers and attend 50+ workshops on topics ranging from farming techniques to business management.

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Land Access Program

Heartland FarmLink

Heartland FarmLink is a land link site designed to connect farmers seeking land with people who have it. Whether your land access goals are buying, leasing, or something in between, Heartland FarmLink is the place to get the lay of the land. Make your profile today and connect with landholders throughout Ohio!

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One-on-One Consultation

Jerah Pettibone, OEFFA’s Land Access Educator, is available for consultation with beginning and exiting farmers needing personalized technical assistance. Contact the Begin Farming Program Coordinator to determine if your situation is a good fit for Farmland Specialist services.

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Join Us in Fielding the Next Farm Team!

Stay tuned for updates as our season takes shape!

If you are interested in participating in these programs, either as a new or experienced farmer we would be delighted to talk to you. Email or call Jerah Pettibone, Begin Farming and Land Access Educator, at jerah@oeffa.org or (614) 725-3166.

Contact: Begin Farming Program Coordinator online or call (614) 947-1633 or (614) 725-3163 for more.

Photos: Mile Creek Farm

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

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