"What are my marketing options?" "How can I finance my farm start-up?" "What should I grow on my land?" If you have questions about starting a farm or are considering diversifying your farm enterprises, the new New York Beginning Farmers Resource Center at http://beginningfarmers.cce.cornell.edu can offer you information and inspiration to help you begin.
This interactive website offers a forum where new farmers can swap ideas and stories and ask specific questions. It also contains lessons that walk new farmers through the steps of starting a farm business, including setting goals, evaluating land, and learning about markets and regulations. Online worksheets embedded in the farm planning lessons allow new farmers to respond to questions and apply what they learn to their own situation, then download their completed worksheets for later use in a business plan if desired.
The Frequently Asked Questions section is a treasure trove of information on the farm-start-up process, with responses to the most commonly-asked questions like "Where can I find a grant to start my farm?" and "What regulations apply to me?"
Visitors can also peruse the events calendar, get connected with agencies that can provide personalized assistance, and find production information on a sister site at the Cornell Small Farms Program. Visitors seeking advice and inspiration will find it in the Voice of Experience section, which contains articles by and about successful farmers in.
The site was developed by the New York Beginning Farmer Project, which is working to build the Grow Local movement to support the Buy Local movement. Visit the NY Beginning Farmer Resource Center online at http://beginningfarmers.cce.cornell.edu.