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

Mentor Application

Mentee Application

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