Start a Farm

United States Department of Agriculture.

Agriculture is full of exciting and rewarding opportunities. Farming is a tough job, but at the heart of it all, you'll see a vibrant community contributing to the future of our nation’s health and food security. Find the resources from the USDA, other Federal agencies and partners to help you get started.

The Greenhorns.

Written for young farmers to help young farmers find the information they need to enter the field of sustainable agriculture. Covers educational opportunities, access to farmland, business planning, farming systems, marketing, urban agriculture and more.

University of Minnesota. Center for Farm Financial Management.

Farm Answers features a library of how-to resources and guidance, a directory of beginning farmer training programs, toolboxes to help you address your biggest challenges when starting a farm, and news, blog, podcasts and other sources of current information in agriculture.

Iowa State University. Cooperative Extension Service. Value Added Agriculture Program.

General information about farm leases and farm management, new farmer loan programs, beginning farmer training programs, mentoring programs for beginning farmers and more specific information about developing agricultural business and marketing plans. Predominantly from Iowa, but additional resources from the upper Midwestern U.S. and Canada also included.

New England Small Farm Institute.

Programs, services and resources for new farmers in the 12 Northeast states and beyond. Includes: directory of programs and services for new farmers, reports about new farmers and their service needs, tools and resources for new farmers and for working with new farmers and programs/projects for new farmers.

Iowa State University. Cooperative Extension Service.

Iowa resources for new farmers looking for support, land, training and contacts.

International Farm Transition Network.

The network supports programs that foster the next generation of farmers and ranchers. Site includes information and state contacts for "Land Link" programs - programs that match retiring farmers/land with new farmers seeking land and support.

Beginning Farmers and Ranchers  ( pdf | 2.49 mb )

USDA. Economic Research Service.

"This report draws on data from annual surveys and the Census of Agriculture to provide policymakers with a better understanding of beginning farmers and ranchers, including how they contribute to U.S. agricultural production." Coverage includes the definition of beginning farmers and ranchers; government programs; and past trends and future insights.