Whole Farm Planning

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 classroom-based workshops, farm tours, field instruction, and networking opportunities using our Whole Farm Planning curriculum.

Certified Farm Seekers Program
Throughout Virginia

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The CFS program is led by Virginia Farm Bureau Young Farmers and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and consumer Services (VDACS).  Through this online 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.

Certified Farm Seekers and Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services - Andy Sorrell

VA Farm Bureau Young Farmers - Ron Saacke

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

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The VSU Small Farm Outreach Program is offering Beginning Farmer Program Workshops in 2018. The introductory workshops are designed for beginning farmers and ranchers to establish and sustain viable agricultural operations thorough whole farm planning programs. Instructors at VSU are very familiar with most agricultural education opportunities across Virginia and can show new farmers where to get the help they need for any farming enterprise. 

Whole Farm Planning workshops will be offered from 9 AM - 12 PM at the following dates and locations:

  • February 17: United Methodist Church, Dry Fork, VA
  • February 27: Lake Country Advanced Learning Center, South Hill, VA
  • March 6: VSU Randolph Farm, Petersburg, VA
  • March 24: Pal D. Camp Community college, Franklin, VA
  • April 4: Orange County Public Works Building, Orange, VA
  • April 17: Lord Fairfax Community College, Warrenton, VA

More information is available at ext.vsu.edu/small-farm-outreach-program or contact Megan Harrison at mharrison@vsu.edu

Sharing Knowledge and Growing Community
Catawba, VA

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The Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center is offering a Sharing Knowledge and Building Community series in Winter 2018. This is an educational series for beginning farmers and ranchers.

2018 Sharing Knowledge and Building Community Flyer

Catawba Sustainability Center - Adam Taylor

Virginia Cooperative Extension

Appalachian Sustainable Development's Whole Farm Planning 
Southwest Virginia

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Appalachian Sustainable Development works with Virginia Cooperative Extension in southwest Virginia to offer continual Whole Farm Planning workshops and business planning assistance.  These opportunities aim to assist Appalachian farmers in addressing available local marketing opportunities and developing a working business plan, while promoting sustainable agricultural practices.

For more information, please contact Michelle Morgan at mmorgan@asdevelop.org or Jenni Roop at jroop@asdevelop.org

Appalachian Sustainable Development - Michelle Morgan or Jenni Roop

Virginia Cooperative Extension

The Northern Piedmont Beginning Farmer Program
Fauquier County, Virginia 

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This several week course is a joint effort of Cooperative Extension in Culpeper, Fauquier, Loudoun, and Rappahannock Counties; the Fauquier Education Farm; and Fauquier County Department of Agricultural Development. This program focuses on:  Introduction to Whole Farm Planning; Marketing; and Introduction to Farm Business Management.

For more information on the Northern Piedmont Beginning Farmer Program, click HERE or view the 2018 Beginning Farmer Program flyer

For more information, please contact Jim Hankins at fauquieredfarm@gmail.com or call 804.892.4492


Fauquier County Ag. Development Office -  Ray Pickering

Fauquier Education Farm -  Jim Hankins 

Virginia Cooperative Extension



If you want to stay informed about our program activities using social media, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or subscribe to our listserv.  If you have comments or questions, please contact Allyssa Mark by email.

The Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition is a state-wide and coalition-based Extension program, housed in Virginia Tech’s Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education. Funding was sponsored by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Award #2017-70011-26861, and the Southern Risk Management Education Center Grant #545015. For more information about the program or funding, contact Kim Niewolny, Program Director and Extension Specialist, at niewolny@vt.edu or 540-231-5784.

For website updates, such as broken links, please contact Allyssa Mark, Program Associate.