Heartland Farm Beginnings

What is Heartland Farm Beginnings?

Heartland Farm Beginnings is a year-long farmer-led training and support program designed to help early career farmers achieve their goal of creating a sustainable farm business. 

This series of intensive workshops will help beginning farmers develop a whole farm business plan through goal setting, financial management and assessment of resources, skills and markets. Participants will be paired with a farmer-mentor for one-on-one support. 

OEFFA is a part of the Farm Beginning Collaborative, a national coalition of farmer support organizations that each offer their own versions of the Farm Beginnings curriculum.  

Throughout Heartland Farm Beginnings participants will:

  1. Create a detailed action plan for your farm, including honing your vision, personal goals, marketing plan, and financial goals;  
  2. Learn holistic farm management skills, such as innovative marketing strategies, record keeping, and tax preparation;  
  3. Learn how to access resources, land, and creative financing options, and  
  4. Join a vibrant network of local and ecologically-minded farmers, developing relationships with new and experienced practitioners. 

Program includes:

  • OEFFA Family Farm Membership ($50 value)
  • 2022 Conference Registration with lunch provided (up to $330 value)
  • Print and digital farm planning materials
  • One-on-one pairing with a farming mentor for the 2022 growing season

Application details

  • The course is designed for early career farmers that focus on sustainable and organic production. Participants should be currently farming, or have experience working on farms and are in the process of planning a farm business.
  • The next cohort will begin in early 2022. There is space for up to 12 farms available in this cohort.  Applications must be submitted by December 12th
  • Heartland Farm Beginnings tuition is $1,200 for up to two individuals from the same farm business working on the same business plan. Tuition relief is available to increase accessibility of this program. Funding will prioritize Black and Indigenous growers and growers of color. 

Program application


The Farm Beginnings Collaborative (FBC) is a national alliance of regional groups who are offering Farm Beginnings® programs in 13 states. OEFFA’s Heartland Farm Beginnings® is the first offered in Ohio. According to survey data from member organizations, these programs have graduated hundreds of farmers, with 71 percent of graduates still farming in 2016.

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

Photo: Our Harvest Cooperative

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