All beginner farmers are eligible and welcome to enroll in the program. The program is designed for those farmers with less than 10 years of farming experience and are looking to start a small operation or expand an existing small farm.
This program will help participants build skills through 9 months of farmer-led training and networking. It seeks to promote healthy yet practical farming technique training through farmer-led classroom sessions, on-farm tours, workshops, hands-on
field training, farm-related events, and conferences and an extensive farmer network that will help participants on their journey to starting or building a profitable and sustainable operation. Students do not need to own land but some farming or production experience or
knowledge is required to get the most out of the program. All beginner farmers are eligible for the program.
The program has 3 steps.
1. Small Farm Business Planning
2. Vegetable Production- Classroom Training
3. Hands-on Production – Field Training with Program Partners
The West Georgia BFDP includes the Journeymen Certificate program offered through The University of Georgia. Each participant that completes steps 1 and 2 of training will receive a Journeyman Certificate issued through the University of Georgia Agriculture and Science.
A certificate of completion will be provided to all participants that complete all three steps including 100 hours of field training during the nine-month term.
The program is designed with flexibility in hands-on training to allow new farmers to get the knowledge they need at the convenience of their family life and work schedules. Participants will select a partnering farm to conduct their in-field training. Workshops and events will be offered throughout the year for additional learning opportunities at no additional costs.
Educational Resources, Networking, and Mentoring
Whole Farm Planning Coursework:
Curriculum designed at a beginning to intermediate level to guide beginning farmers in developing a whole farm plan.
- Networking and Educational Resources:
A network of educators, organizers, and agricultural service providers ready to connect with and build the capacity of new and beginning farmers as they plan and develop their farm.
- Webinars, Workshops, and Farmer Videos:
Online and in-person educational opportunities encompassing a wide range of start-up topics, formats, and resources for beginning farmers and ranchers.
- Farmer-to-farmer Mentoring: Opportunities for new farmers to connect with and learn from peers and experienced farmers in their community.