New Farmer Resources
This is a great time to be farming!
There are an abundance of valuable resources available to farmers including business planning assistance, production techniques, marketing ideas, supplier recommendations, and many more. Valley Food & Farm staff are available for one on one advising as well.
Valley Food & Farm staff are able help with your specific situation or question. We work with farmers who are in the dreaming/planning stage, just starting out, and/or growing their farm business.
Nancy LaRowe, our Valley Food & Farm Coordinator, is our farmer-in-residence.
Give her a call at 802.291.9100 x106 or email, she is happy to help with:
- Individual consultation, focused on making an action plan to start or enhance your farm business
- Directing you to resources if you are having trouble figuring out who to call for help in a specific area
- Linking you to technical assistance within our New Farmer Network for business planning, production assistance, land access, access to capital, legal concerns, and many other topics.
Beginning Farmer Websites
Vermont New Farmer Project– University of Vermont website that is a rich source of educational information including webinars, fact sheets, the Land Access Database, Toolsheds on Business Management, Marketing, and Production. A great place to start!
Vermont Agency of Agriculture Resource Guide for Vermont’s New and Aspiring Farmers
UNH Resources for Aspiring Farmers
Beginning Farmers.Org– National website with resources and links to excellent information useful to people starting out in agriculture.
Northeast Beginning Farmer Project– Cornell University site run by a team of educators who care deeply about supporting the success of new farmers.
Missouri Beginning Farmers
Beginning Farmer Resource Network of Maine
Virtual Grange– Online community and hub for beginning farmers, managed by Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture.
ATTRA: Beginning Farmer
USDA New Farmer Website
University of Wisconsin Small Farmer Resources
Organizations and Associations
New Hampshire Farms Network
Land for Good
Women’s Agricultural Network (WAGN)
Northern Grain Growers Association
Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association
Vermont Grass Farmers Association
Vermont Beef Producers Association
Vermont Fresh Network
Small and Beginning Farmers of New Hampshire
Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG)
USDA Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development Program
FarmAid Beginning Farmer Resource Guide
National Good Food Network
Community Involved in Sustainable Agriculture
New Hampshire Farm Bureau
Business Planning, Marketing Resources, Access to Capital, etc.
UVM Extension Farm Viability
UVM Farmer Training Program
Pricing Your Farm Products
Vermont Fresh Network
Dig In Vermont!
Valley Food & Farm Online Guide
Center for an Agricultural Economy Small Business Agricultural Advising
Vermont Farmers’ Market Association
Vermont Farmers’ Markets
Vermont Small Business Development Center
New Hampshire Farmers’ Market Association
Pam Knights Communications
Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program
New Hampshire Small Business Development Center
Upper Valley SCORE
USDA Farm Service Agency Beginning Farmer and Rancher Loans
Yankee Farm Credit
New Hampshire Community Loan Fund’s Food and Farm Initiative
Center for Rural Affairs Beginning Farmer Loan Programs
Small Business Administration
Cornell Small Farms Program
Apprenticing, Mentorship & Incubation
Research, Innovations, & Technical Support
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Vermont Association of Conservation Districts
UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture
Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education
Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship at Cornell University
Regulations & Other Resources
FSMA On Farm Readiness Review
VT Required Agricultural Practices
UVM Produce Program
New Hampshire Ag Rules and Laws
Vermont Red Meat Slaughter Flow Chart
Vermont Agency of Agriculture Poultry Slaughter FAQ
NOFA VT Farmers’ Market Resources
USDA Slaughter Facilities
Vermont Livestock, Ferrisburgh, VT
Black River Meats, North Springfield, VT
NEK Processing, St. Johnsbury, VT
PT Farm, North Haverhill, NH
The Royal Butcher, Braintree, VT
The Local Butcher, Center Barnstead, NH
Vermont Inspected & Custom Facilities
Brault’s Slaughterhouse, Troy, VT
New Hampshire Department of Agriculture Weekly Market Bulletin
Vermont Agency of Agriculture Agriview
Growing for Market
Vermont Local Banquet
Sustainable Vegetable Production from Start-Up to Market– Vern Grubinger
Organic Farmers Business Handbook – Richard Wiswall
The QuickBooks Farm Accounting Cookbook -Mark Wilsdorf
“It’s so amazing to know that there is such a wonderful support network here in the UV to help farmers get on track and stay on track.”
“I cannot overstate how much their programs have contributed to our success. Before purchasing our farm I participated in Vital Communities’ learning collaborative and attended one of their farmer meet-ups. I learned a lot of different techniques and was exposed to many ideas as I visited area farms and learned directly from the farmers and their employees. This also helped me build up a strong network with other local farmers, both new and experienced. I continue to use the connections I made at those events whenever I encounter a problem.
Those connections also allowed me to expand sales. I began selling my pork through another local farm and that is now my second biggest sales outlet for pork.”
Funding for our new farmer advising is made possible in part with a Rural Development Enterprise Grant from USDA Rural Development.
Search Our Valley Food & Farm Guide
Valley Food & Farm News
Join Vital Communities, Hanover Co-op Food Stores, and USDA Rural Development for a webinar and workshop series to learn about opportunities to fund r [...]
Meet Your Local Farm to School Network!
The Upper Valley Farm to School Network invites you to gather in your region to build local connections w [...]
Vital Communities Program News
Food & Farm Coordinator
Food & Farm
Food & Farm
— Becka Warren, Food & Farm Coordinator
Part of Vital Communities' Food & Farm team since 2012, Becka fosters relationships that keep agriculture a daily part of community life in the Upper Valley. She works with current and future farmers, businesses, schools, and partners across Vermont and New Hampshire to build connections that support farm viability and keep our landscapes working. Becka lived in Seattle for many years, where she worked for the Washington State University Small Farms Program, Cascade Harvest Coalition, Seattle Tilth, and area vegetable farms. Becka is also a writer, founding and writing Ask Umbra at gristmagazine.com until 2009. She holds a BA from Brown University and lives in Hartland, Vermont, with her family.
Food & Farm Manager
Valley Quest, Food & Farm
Valley Quest, Food & Farm
— Beth Roy, Food & Farm Manager
Beth leads Vital Communities' Food & Farm team, including its Upper Valley Farm to School programming, and also oversees Valley Quest. Before joining Vital Communities, Beth Roy worked in the environmental and place-based education fields for 17 years in various positions around New England including at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science and as the Director of Education at the Nature Museum in Grafton, Vt. Beth is also on the boards of the Vermont Science Teacher Association (VSTA) and the Vermont State-Wide Environmental Education Programs (SWEEP), a coalition of dozens of individuals and organizations promoting sustainability and environmental education in Vermont. Beth is a New Hampshire native and lives in Hartland, Vt., with her husband and two children. When Beth is not working you will find her exploring the woods around her home with her family or cooking up a new taste test (made of local foods, of course!) for her children.
Food & Farm and Local First Coordinator
Local First, Food & Farm
Local First, Food & Farm
— Nancy LaRowe, Food & Farm and Local First Coordinator
Nancy joined Vital Communities as the Food & Farm Coordinator in 2014. She works to support and grow our local food system and economy. Nancy has lived, worked, and farmed in the Upper Valley for more than 25 years and believes our community is healthier and stronger when our connections to food and the farms that produce it stay vital.
Nancy's informal job title is Farmer-in-Residence: she also runs a pasture-based cattle farm in Norwich. Nancy is on the Board of the Norwich Farmers' Market and a retired Norwich volunteer firefighter and EMT. She loves puttering in the garden, hiking with her dog, and visiting farmers' markets.