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Whole Farm Planning

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Virginia Whole Farm Planning for Beginners


The Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Program (VBFRCP) is working hard to improve opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers to establish and sustain viable agricultural operations thorough whole farm planning programs.  We offer several, place-based whole farm planning training opportunities across Virginia.  These trainings provide farmers with a range of networking opportunities, classroom-based workshops, farm tours, field instruction, and self-study opportunities using our newly developed Whole Farm Planning curriculum.  Below are the most current opportunities for 2013.  Visit this site often to see updates for fall 2013 and winter 2014.


Whole Farm Planning Programs Available in 2013-2014


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Certified Farm Seeker Program
throughout Virginia


The CFS program is led by Virginia Farm Bureau Young Farmers and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and consumer Services (VDACS).  Through whole farm planning curriculum,  individuals seeking farming opportunities, will be provided with the tools needed to successfully demonstrate their farming commitment and vision to interested landowner.  The CFS Program is designed around helping interested farmers produce a business plan and resume, as well as demonstrate on-farm experience.

VA Farm Bureau Young Farmers - Ron Saacke

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services - Kevin Schmidt

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Virginia State University's Beginning Farmer Program:  Whole Farm Planning Workshops
Southside and Eastern Virginia, Winter, 2014



The VSU Small Farm Outreach Program is offering  Beginning Farmer Program Workshops January-February 2014.   These workshops will cover the materials included in Module 1, Introduction to Whole Farm Planning, of the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Program.  These workshops will be free and open to any Beginning Farmer. The Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Program requires the completion of Module 1, Introduction to Whole Farm Planning, as a requirement for participation in the Virginia Farm Mentoring Program.   Lunch and light refreshments will be provided. All workshops will be from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM.   

Register with Jim Hankins or call 804 892 4492 

VSU Small Farm Outreach Program

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    Virginia Tech


2014 Growers’ Academy
Virginia Tech Roanoke Center in the Roanoke, February-April 2014




As a partner of the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition, the Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center is offering the fifth annual Growers’ Academy, a series of courses specifically designed to help new and transitioning agricultural businesses succeed. The course presents low-input crop production techniques and resources for launching your own agribusiness. Instructors include resource professionals and farm business owners, many within the VBRCRP!

For more information and online registration, visit:

Or contact: Josh Nease at 540-553-2311 or


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 Whole Farm Planning for New Wineries and Vineyards
Christiansburg, Virginia



Attimo Winery is dedicated to celebrating the everyday moments in life.  In collaboration with Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Program, Attimo is working to encourage, recruit, educate, and train the next generation of viticulturist and wine makers in Virginia.  

Attimo Winery -  Rik and Melissa Obiso 


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Pocket Farm Class
Floyd County, Virginia



SustainFloyd's beginning farmer & rancher efforts include development of a working, model farm creating opportunities within a living laboratory for experiential learning.  Whole Farm Planning educational training will include day-long workshops, and courses focused on Principles & Production, as well as Entrepreneurial-Agribusiness training.

SustainFloyd - Michael Burton


    Grayson Landcare

Beginning Farmer Support on the Blue Ridge Plateau
Grayson County, Virginia




Grayson Landcare's Whole Farm Planning efforts include educating and training beginning farmers, rancher, and grazers to make economically sound, realistic, and sustainable goals to promote long term agriculture success.  

GraysonLandcare -  Danny Boyer



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Whole Farm Planning in Southwest Virginia
Washington and Wise County



Appalachian Sustainable Development is working with Virginia Cooperative Extension to offer Whole Farm Planning and other beginning farmer workshops fall 2013.  These opportunities aim to assist Appalachian farmers in addressing available local marketing opportunities and developing a working business plan, while promoting sustainable agricultural practices.”


Appalachian Sustainable Development - Tamara McNaughton

Virginia Cooperative Extension


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Whole Farm Planning Farm School
2013-2014 Farm School is currently being planned.  Stay tuned for more information soon!
Goochland County & Richmond, Virginia



The purpose of this program is to help beginning farmers and ranchers in Virginia to make informed farm planning decisions as part of a whole farm plan.  A six-week course is organized at the introductory to intermediate stage of farming knowledge and experience.

Virginia Association for Biological Farming - Lisa Dearden or Kathy O'Hara 



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The Northern Piedmont Beginning Farmer Program
Fauquier County, Virginia 





This several week course is a joint effort of Cooperative Extension in Culpeper, Fauquier, Loudoun, and Rappahannock Counties and the Fauquier Education Farm.  The program’s focus is on:  Introduction to Whole Farm Planning;  Marketing; and Introduction to Farm Business Management.   All classes to be held at Middleburg Agriculture Research & Extension Center:  5527 Sullivans Mill Road, Middleburg, VA 22117.   For further information contact or call 540-341-7950.

Fauquier County Ag. Development Office -  Ray Pickering

Fauquier Education Farm -   Jim Hilleary  

Virginia Cooperative Extension

More Information on Virginia Whole Farm Planning




2014 Whole Farm Planning Opportunities

Certified Farm Seeker Program 

VSU Whole Farm Planning Workshop Series

Grower's Academy

The Northern Piedmont Beginning Farmer Program

VABF Farm School for Beginners 
 (2014 course being planned)

SustainFloyd's Pocket Farm Class
(fall 2013 class completed)

Attimo Winery's Whole Farm Planning for New Wineries & Vineyards

Whole Farm Planning Workshops in Southwest Virginia with ASD

Grayson LandCare's Whole Farm Planning Program


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