BFRDP Projects

Growing Farmers Initiative: Equipping beginning farmers to create economically and ecologically resilient farm enterprises in NY and beyond
[Final Report]

Award Amount: $744,951
Grant Program: 2014 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Sara Elliott
Organization: Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

Stone Barns Center's beginning farmer training program, the Growing Farmers Initiative, focuses on preparing new farmers to pursue economically and ecologically resilient farm enterprises in a rapidly changing world. We have sought to strengthen the rigor of our ecologically based farming curriculum so that we develop perceptive, adaptable farmers who will also champion sustainable agriculture and help others succeed. Our programs include apprentice training, workshops, conferences, and online learning.

We delivered high-quality, experiential-based technical training in the science and business of agriculture for our group of nine to twelve apprentices during their nine-month training here. Apprentice workshops met weekly and covered essential topic including soil science and management, plant botany, landscape design and ecology, engine mechanics, animal husbandry, and farm business planning. These sessions, open to young farmers from throughout the region, were taught by Stone Barns staff and other experts.

Our conferences and online learning platforms exposed farmers from across the U.S. to the principles of resilient farming. In total, the 2015 and 2016 and 2017 Young Farmers Conferences welcomed 850 young farmers from 38 states, 22% on scholarship, and covered topics on crop production, business management, animal husbandry, land access, and more. Each workshop was approximately 90 minutes and the majority of participants requested that the workshops be offered again the following year. We also hosted Poultry School in these years for 350 farmers.

Last, our E-Learning tools have reached a wide audience, with 105,286 unique views in the past three years (average 25 minutes viewing time).


Number of Participants: 107633


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Delivery Area

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