farmers learning from one another in a field

A Taste of Farming: An Online Series for Aspiring and New Farmers

Are you aspiring to farm or just starting out with farming? If so, this series is for you. We designed this “learn as you go” online series so you can get a taste of different farming practices and concepts to help you explore your interests, gain a basic understanding of many different farming topics, avoid common pitfalls, and get to know the Extension professionals in Virginia who are here to assist you. 

In this Series, Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) agents and VSU Small Farm Outreach Program Associates post short videos (15-20 min) highlighting key information and considerations about different farming practices and concepts on topics they have had years of experience helping aspiring and new farmers navigate. Season 1 ran from October 2021 to March 2022 and videos are archived below. Season 2 is runing from October 2022 to March 2023 with the schedule and videos listed below. All of our Taste of Farming videos are on a playlist on the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition YouTube Page as well. 

Season 2 

Each month between October 2022 and March 2023 we will release two new Taste of Farming videos for you to watch! A few weeks after a moderated Q & A session will be held with the video presenters where you can hear more from them and have your questions answered. Check out our schedule below and click on the pages listed below to access the videos that are now available to watch! Please reach out to Sarah Sharpe at seweaver@vt.edu or Katie Trozzo ketrozzo@vt.edu if you have questions. 

December Moderated Q& A Session (Please register to join)
Thursday, December 8 from 7-8 pm ET

  • Erin Small, Prince Edward VCE Ag Agent
    Floriculture, video will be available on November 14!
  • Beth Sastre, Loudoun VCE Ag Agent
    Vineyard Establishment, video will be available on November 14!

January Moderated Q& A Session (Please register to join)
Thursday, January 18 from 7-8 pm ET

  • Kevin Spurlin, Grayson County VCE Ag Agent
    Ashley Edwards, Carroll County VCE Ag Agent
    Christmas Tree Farming, video will be available on December 12!
  • Speaker TBD
    Tree Fruit Production, video will be available on December 12!

February Moderated Q& A Session (Please register to join)
Thursday, February 23 from 7-8pm ET

  • Mandy Fletcher, VSU Small Farm Outreach Program Assistant SW VA Region
    Sheep and Goat Production, video will be available on January 16!
  • Sarah Sharpe, Greene VCE Ag Agent
    Direct Marketing Meat, video will be available on January 16!

March Moderated Q& A Session (Registration coming soon)
Date TBD

  • Tracy Porter, VSU Small Farm Outreach Program Assistant, Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula, Eastern Shore Region
    Poultry Production, video will be available on February 13!
  • Jeremy Daubert, Rockingham County VCE Ag Agent
    Cynthia Martel, Franklin County VCE Ag Agent
    Starting a Small Dairy (Cows and Goats), video will be available on February 13!

Season 1 Archive

  • Article Item
    Introduction to Business Planning , article

    Hear from Sarah Sharpe, Green County’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, about writing a business plan. Sarah will share why a business plan is important and will cover the basics of the process and what needs to be included. Click for more information.

  • Article Item
    Things to Consider for Your New Farm (Ad)Venture , article

    Hear from Tom Stanley, Rockbridge County’s Extension Agent specializing in Farm Business Management, on key considerations for planning and starting a farming enterprise.

  • Article Item
    Key Agencies and Resources to Assist Your Farming Venture , article

    Hear from Theresa Pittman, Accomack County’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, who will give you an overview of key agencies that can assist you in your farming venture. Click for more information.

  • Article Item
    Basic Soils , article

    Hear from Amy Byington, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent in Lee County, who will share an introduction to soils. Key topics will include physical characteristics, chemical characteristics, and fertilizers. Click for more information.

  • Article Item
    Vegetable Production and Food Safety Requirements , article

    Hear from Ursula Deitch, Northampton County’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, who will share the basics of vegetable production and along with the food safety requirements in which beginning farmers should be aware. Click for more information.

  • Article Item
    Integrated Pest Management Basics , article

    Hear from Laura Maxey-Nay, Hanover County’s Agriculture and Natural Resource Agent specializing in Crop and Soil Sciences, who will share the basics of integrated pest management to support healthy crops. Click for more information.

  • Article Item
    Hydroponic Production , article

    Hear from Ashley Appling, Culpeper County’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, who will share an introduction to hydroponic production.

  • Article Item
    Getting Started in the Greenhouse , article

    Hear from Ed Olsen, Horticulture Agent in Henrico County, who will share an introduction to greenhouse production.

  • Article Item
    Horse Management 101 , article

    Hear from Carrie Swanson, Albemarle County’s Animal Science Extension Agent, who will share a basic overview of horse management.

  • Article Item
    Pumpkins , article

    Hear from Joanne Jones, Charlotte County’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, who will share about pumpkin production.

  • Article Item
    Forestry , article

    Hear from Neil Clark, Southampton County’s Natural Resources Extension Agent, who will share an introduction to forest management as part of whole farm planning and management.

  • Article Item
    Agritourism , article

    Hear from Livvy Preisser, Isle of Wight County’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, who will share an introduction to agritourism.

  • Article Item
    Strawberries , article

    Hear from Roy Flanagan, Virginia Beach’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent, who will share the basics of strawberry growing.

  • Article Item
    Small Fruit , article

    Hear from Ashley Edwards, Carroll County’s Commercial Horticulture Extension Agent, who will share an introduction to small fruit production.

  • Article Item
    Agroforestry and Forest Farming , article

    Hear from Adam Downing, Regional Forestry Extension Agent, who will share an introduction to farm and forest integration opportunities including silvopasture and forest farming.

  • Article Item
    Beef Management 101 , article

    Hear from Jeannie Dudding, Giles County’s Animal Science Extension Agent, who will provide a basic overview of beef management.

  • Article Item
    Grazing Math , article

    Hear from Carl Stafford, Culpeper County’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Senior Extension Agent, who will share principles driving the flexible management of natural systems needed by grazing livestock.