Phase 1 – Online Beginner Farmer Training
- Launching May 2021
- Registration fee: TBD for 2022 Session
- 14 two-hour sessions running mid-May through mid-November.
- Learn the basics of farming in New Jersey from farmers and Cooperative Extension experts.
- Course topics include business planning, crop and site selection, equipment choice and use, plant disease and pest issues, marketing, and more.
- Gain access to top quality resources designed to help you develop your farm business.
- Completion of the online training is a prerequisite for acceptance into Phase 2 CSA Training.
Phase 1 – Farm Days
- 2021 Launch dependent on COVID-19 guidelines around in-person programs.
- Registration fee: Free for those enrolled in online training.
- Put on your old jeans and work boots and get ready to experience a day (or 5) in the life of a New Jersey farmer.
- This program will take participants to 4-6 commercial and research farms throughout the growing season, each with a different style of agriculture.
- Participants will have the opportunity to meet the farmers, get a tour of their operation, and then actually work on the farm for the day.
- Learn first-hand what you like (or don’t like) about different farm types and crops and decide if you’re ready to take the next step in your farmer training.
- Program details and farm visit schedule will be developed further once COVID-19 protocols allow.
Phase 2 – Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Training Program
- This program is currently under development and will be launching in early 2022.
- Those who have completed Phase 1 – Online Beginner Farmer Training will be eligible to participate in this course.
- Registration fee: TBD
- Join a small cohort of fellow beginner farmers and learn by doing as you help to take a guided cooperative CSA from planning through harvest and delivery.
- A mixture of online and in-person classes and on-site workdays will take you step by step through a season in small plot diversified crop farming.
- Work closely with our program staff and farm coach to develop a farm business plan and grow high-quality produce at commercial quantities.
- Participants who perform well in this phase will be eligible to apply for the Phase 3-Farm Business Incubator.
Phase 2 – Workshop Days
- This program is currently under development and will launch concurrent with Phase 2 – CSA training.
- Workshop Days will provide full day focused hands-on training in mechanical skills that are critical to success in agriculture.
- Registration fee: TBD for general public, free for Phase 2 – CSA Training participants who are expected to attend as part of their training.
- Any farmer can expand their skill base by attending one of our Workshop Days. Topics will include BCS machines and attachments, carpentry and building maintenance, small engine repair, and more.
- These workshops will be developed according to demand. Interested in a specific topic? Let us know and we may be able to add it to the schedule.
Phase 3 – Farm Business Incubator
- This program is currently under development and will launch in early 2023.
- Fees: TBD
- Phase 3 – Farm Business Incubator will provide land access opportunities to select graduates of the Phase 2 – CSA Training.
- Incubatees will be fully responsible for the implementation of their business plan at this point. The purpose of the incubator is to provide temporary access to land and resources to beginner commercial farmers while they develop their market and customer base.
- The program staff and farm coach will provide advice and feedback to incubatees and assess their progress and revenue.
- Program participants with their own land who have previously completed the Phase 2-CSA Training will still be encouraged to take advantage of the business support and assessment services offered to incubatees.
- Incubatees will be expected to meet predetermined revenue targets to ensure that they are taking full advantage of this land access opportunity.