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.

Coalition Partners

Our Coalition Parnters provide outreach, education, training, and resource services to farmers and ranchers in Virginia.  They share a sincere commitment to addressing whole farm planning needs through organizing, facilitating, and promoting offerings to beginning farmers and ranchers in Virginia. Learn more about our partners and their offerings below.

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The VSU Small Farm Outreach Program is offering Beginning Farmer Program Workshops in 2018-2019. The introductory workshops are designed for beginning farmers and ranchers to establish and sustain viable agricultural operations thorough whole farm planning programs. Other workshops address financial, technological, and other educational needs that beginning and experienced farmers alike may be interested. Instructors at VSU are very familiar with most agricultural education opportunities across Virginia and can show farmers where to get the help they need for any farming enterprise. 

More information is available at the VSU Small Farm Outreach Program website


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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. If you are interested in the Fauquier Education Farm's Incubator Program, view the Small Farm Incubator Program flyer.

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

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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 - Jen Perkins
VA Farm Bureau Young Farmers - Ron Saacke

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The Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center is offers a variety of educational, hands-on workshops throughout the year for farmers interested in sustainable growing practices.

Catawba Sustainability Center - Adam Taylor
Virginia Cooperative Extension

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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. ASD began their Farmer and Rancher Mentoring (FARM) Program in 2019 offering on-farm internships for 10 interns.

Appalachian Sustainable DevelopmentJenni Roop
Virginia Cooperative Extension

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 #2023-49400-40885. For more information about the program, contact Katie Trozzo, Program Coordinator, at vabeginningfarmer@vt.edu or (540) 232-2233. For other questions, contact Kim Niewolny, Program Director, at niewolny@vt.edu.

For website updates, such as broken links, please contact vabeginningfarmer@vt.edu