UNITY — The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) is accepting applications for the Farm Beginnings program. The eight-week course, which will be held virtually from January through February, will help farmers with a strong commitment to creating a sustainable farm business achieve their goals.

Designed for farmers with at least one year of production experience, the series of intensive workshops helps participants to develop a whole farm plan through realistic goal-setting, reflection and assessment of resources, skills and markets. Each week consists of independent work through an online learning platform and a Zoom call with all farmer-participants. The course is farmer-led and professionally facilitated with course material covered through a combination of classroom presentations, group discussions, guest speakers and panels, as well as guided readings and exercises.
MOFGA’s Farm Beginnings course has helped farmers access Farm Service Agency (FSA) financing, learn more about the resources in Maine to support their farm development and build a farming network. “Farmers find it supportive to be in class with other farmers in a similar stage of farm development to create a space of trust and openness about farming experiences,” said Bo Dennis, MOFGA’s beginning farmer programs specialist. Dennis reported that 90% of graduates are still farming and that 87% of graduates have increased sustainable farming practices.
Enrollment is open to any farm looking to apply whole farm planning and financial management tools to their operation. Course tuition is $750 a farm, and numerous scholarships are available. Applications are available at www.mofga.org/Programs/Farmer-Programs/MOFGA-Farm-Beginnings. The deadline is Tuesday, Dec. 1. For more information, contact Dennis at [email protected]


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