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.

New Farmer

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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

workinginthefieldVermont 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.
Farm Hack
ATTRA: Beginning Farmer
USDA New Farmer Website
University of Wisconsin Small Farmer Resources

Organizations and Associations

Business Planning, Marketing Resources, Access to Capital, etc.

Apprenticing, Mentorship & Incubation

Research, Innovations, & Technical Support

Regulations & Other 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


“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.”

Crossroad CRAFT TB


“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.


Farm Worker Learning Collaborative

Educational and social opportunity for future farmers.

Learn More  >

Flavors of the Valley

Annual local foods expo.

Learn More  >

Valley Food & Farm Guide

Free searchable online guide for farms.

Learn More  >

Workplace Markets

Facilitating farm to worksite delivery.

Learn More  >

Farm to School Network

Farm to school connections.

Learn More

Farmer Discussion List

Subscribe and communicate with other farmers.

Join our Farmer Discussion

Learn More

Link in to the Upper Valley’s farming community with The Upper Valley Farmer Community Discussion List. To subscribe send a blank message to Subscribers can post a message to this list by simply emailing a message to


Valley Food & Farm News

Visit Our Food & Farm Blog


May 2021

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  • Get to know the Vermont Agriculture and Food System Strategic Plan 2021-2030
  • Get to know the Vermont Agriculture and Food System Strategic Plan 2021-2030

Vital Communities Program News


Becka Warren

Food & Farm Coordinator

Food & Farm

 802-291-9100 x112

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 until 2009. She holds a BA from Brown University and lives in Hartland, Vermont, with her family.

Beth Roy

Food & Farm Manager

Valley Quest, Food & Farm

 802-291-9100 x105

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 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. She previously served on the boards of the Vermont Science Teacher Association and the Vermont State-Wide Environmental Education Programs, 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, and serves on the Hartland School Board. 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.

Doreen Guillette

Assistant to the Executive Director, Flavors Coordinator

Food & Farm

 802-291-9100 x104

Food & Farm

— Doreen Guillette, Assistant to the Executive Director, Flavors Coordinator

Doreen Guillette joined Vital Communities in January 2020 as the Flavors of the Valley Coordinator and Assistant to the Executive Director, with many years of administrative and management experience at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, self-employment, and volunteering. An Upper Valley native, Doreen spends most of her time and energy caring for her mini-farm and a large family in Norwich. She is a strong advocate for local community and is president of the Beaver Meadow Chapel, Trustee of the Beaver Meadow Schoolhouse, and Co-Chair of the West Norwich Community Resilience Organization. Doreen enjoys hiking, kayaking, writing poetry, nature photography, and cooking meals that come from her own land.

Nancy LaRowe

Food & Farm and Local First Coordinator

Local First, Food & Farm

 802-291-9100 x106

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.