BFRDP Projects

Growing Good Farmers, Growing Good Food: A Comprehensive Training Program for Ohio`s Organic and Sustainable Beginning Farmers
[Final Report]

Award Amount: $566,141
Grant Program: 2016 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Carol Goland
Organization: Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

The project has laid the foundation to help aspiring farmers advance to become new farmers through an apprenticeship program, and help early career farmers achieve more success to persist in farming through advanced skill-building educational opportunities. The ultimate goal of this project is to increase the number of organic and sustainable farms in Ohio. For aspiring farmers, we offered intensive on-farm apprenticeships to develop farming skills, and complementary activities such as classroom instruction, network building, field days, and support to assess and address individual learning needs. For early career farmers, we provided workshops at OEFFA's annual conference and farm tours to gain additional farming skills and knowledge of production, business, and financial management. Some took advantage of mentorship with experienced farmers. We offered on-going direct technical assistance to over 600 farmers through phone calls and emails. Through the Farmland of Opportunity event and farm tours, we provided a space for beginning farmers and experienced farmers to ask questions, share ideas, and network. In addition, OEFFA created an online networking platform through Facebook to allow participants to continue sharing and learning through social media. In collaboration with Tecumseh Land Trust, OEFFA coordinated two farm succession and transition planning workshops for landowners to work through legal, tax, business, and communication challenges associated with transferring land to a new owner. In partnership with the National Young Farmers Coalition, OEFFA offered training. OEFFA has been trained as a Land Access Trainer by the American Farmland Trust to deliver land access programs and technical assistance to beginning farmers regionally.  OEFFA joined the Farm Beginnings Collaborative, a national alliance of regional organizations who offer a licensed whole farm planning curriculum to beginning farmers. OEFFA staff and farmer-leaders delivered this Farm Beginnings curriculum to farmers from 13 farms who successfully graduated. 

Number of Participants: 1851


Promotional Materials

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Reports & Evaluations

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Delivery Area

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Individual Stories / Examples of Success