LINKS FOR NEW FARMS AND FARMERS:
Below you will find helpful links for establishing a new farm or to learn about farming
USDA’s New Farmers Website helps you access the support and tools you need to begin or carry on your farming journey.
USDA's National Agricultural Library is one of the world’s largest collections devoted to agriculture.
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has many programs and offices to help you market your products.
USDA’s Rural Development promotes economic development by supporting loans to businesses through banks, credit unions and community-managed lending pools. They offer technical assistance and information to help agricultural producers and cooperatives get started and improve the effectiveness of their operations.
The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) Finding Farmland Calculator helps you build scenarios for purchasing farmland. There is FAQ page available with a walk-through video and multiple other resources.
Another program by the NYFC is the Finding Farmland Course which offers a series of lessons that will prepare you to confidently approach the financial decisions related to acquiring your first farm.
The American Farmland Trust presents the Farmland Information Center, which tackles issues like access to land and capital.
Growing New Farmers has a regional searchable directory of resources and programs for new farmers, including access to land, credit, information, and markets. Includes Frequently-Asked-Farmer-Questions, publications and other resources.
Laws, Regulations, and Permits:
Click here for Agricultural Laws and Regulations in the State of Connecticut.
You can start and register the name of your business with the Connecticut Secretary of State by clicking here.
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture’s Business Development and Assistance-lists statutes, right to farm, definitions, and other basic information for farming in our state.
Grants, Loans, and Programs:
CT Department of Agriculture has a number of other programs, such as the farmland restoration, farm viability, and farm transition grants.
Here you can find out how to obtain a Sales and Use Tax ID and Farmer Tax Exemption Permit from the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services.
Connecticut Small Business Administration offers a wide range of financial information and loan programs, including SBA Express Loan Program, SBA LowDoc Program, Microloan Program and Pre-Qualification Loan Program Intermediaries.
The CT Dept of Economic & Community Development Programs and Services devises and implements strategies that help businesses grow and succeed in a rapidly-changing economy.
The National Young Farmers Coalition presents the Farm Service Agency (FSA) Loans Guidebook which explains the ins and outs of federal loans.
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) promotes grants and education to advance innovations in sustainable agriculture.
Marketing and starting an agricultural business:
Iowa’s Agricultural Marketing Resource Center has a series of web pages with documents on how to start an agricultural business and the planning process.
Penn State has a great website on agricultural marketing information.
The US Dept of Commerce Small Business Administration (the SBA) Counseling & Training has helpful programs for businesses.
University of Illinois-Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics- College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences has created FAST (Farm Analysis Solution Tools). Find a whole set of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets that assist agricultural decisions on your computer. FAST aids users with cash flow, rent versus buy option, financial analysis, and evaluating the impacts of farm business decisions.
Connecticut Resource Conservation & Development Area helps you kick-start ideas, learn about related job skills, make your farm more profitable, build conservation projects, and create rural businesses.
New England Willing Workers on Organic Farms an apprenticeship placement service.
UCONN-CANHR- Sustainable Food Systems hosts several programs to help build a sustainable food system that can supply fresh, healthy, local food to residents.
Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut (CT NOFA) ensures the growth and viability of organic food and land systems in CT.
Connecticut Ag Experiment Station develops, advances, and disseminates scientific information to improve agricultural productivity and protect the environment and human well-being.
Legal Food Hub is a free legal services clearinghouse for farmers and food producers.
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture provides programs, apprenticeships, and funding to help grow the movement towards resilient, sustainable, and regenerative agriculture
CRAFT: Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training: Apprenticeship program on several cooperating organic farms.
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association connects people wanting to learn organic farming with experienced farmers willing to share their expertise.
Community Supported Farms in Connecticut:
These farms are typically run by a local community organization on town-owned land. Their goals include: food production, education, preservation of historic buildings and sites, biodiversity conservation, and community events.
Friends of the Farm at Hilltop, Suffield
Ambler Farm, Wilton
Common Ground High School, New Haven
Terra Firma Farm, Stonington
Models Of Incubator Farms Or New Farmer Training Programs:
Intervale Farms Program (Vermont): a small farm incubator program that leases land, greenhouses, and equipment to new farmers who set up small organic farm enterprises on Intervale land.
Nuestras Raices (Holyoke, MA): Started as an urban gardening program with the Puerto Rican community. Now includes an incubator farm, Tierra de Oportunidades, as well as a community kitchen, bakery, restaurant, youth program, etc.
Southside Community Land Trust (Providence, RI): Also started with community gardens, expanded to include environmental programs, city farm.
New Entry Sustainable Farming Project (Tufts University with farms in Dracut and other towns): Trains immigrant and refugee farmers in agriculture with an 18 week program. At the end of 18 weeks, the farmers should have in hand a production plan, business plan, and marketing plan, and be ready to farm on a small scale at the incubator farm. At the end of 3 years, the project helps the new farmer get established on other land (generally rented from local farmers).