Resources for Beginning Farmers

Goal Setting

Having your goals written is the first step to writing a plan for your entire farm, which will help you determine the feasibility of your ideas and keeps you focused on what you’re trying to create.

Tutorial: Goals Skills and Resources – Cornell University Northeast Beginning Farmers Project

Reading: Setting Goals and Objectives – Penn State University Extension

Reading: Personal and Business Goals – North Dakota State University

Questions on Discussing Goals – North Dakota State University

Business Start-Up

Getting Started: Business Development Process, Feasibility and Business Plans, Finances, and more via Ag Decision Maker

Record keeping

WEBINAR A Simple Record Keeping System for Fruit and Vegetable Production – Practical Farmers of Iowa 

Record Keeping Instructions and Templates for Small Scale Fruit and Vegetable Growers – Farmers Legal Action Fund

Vegetable Farm Budgets and Record Keeping: Real Examples – University of Vermont Extension

Veggie Compass Veggie Compass is an ongoing project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that involves the development of whole farm profit management tools and workshops. Our tools are designed to help growers improve on-farm decision making and financial farm planning in order to maximize profitability and ensure the continuation of sustainable farms. – See also: Youtube Tutorials 

Record Keeping for Organic Certification – North Carolina State Extension

Land Access

Sinsinawa Mound Collaborative Farm

Practical Farmers of Iowa – Find A Farmer

MOSES Land Link-Up – Farmland for Sale/Rent | Farmland Wanted

Farmland Access For Veterans 

Sustainable Iowa Land Trust – SILT

Fruit & Vegetable Production

Iowa Produce Follow @iowaproduce on Twitter

Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers 2017

This annual guide is a summary of currently suggested vegetable varieties, seeding rates, fertilizer rates, weed control, insect control, and disease control measures for commercial growers. The recommendations are for growers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Ohio.

 Iowa Fruit & Vegetable Production Budgets

An enterprise budget is an estimate of the costs and returns to produce a product (enterprise). For example, an Iowa corn and soybean producer would be interested in developing both a corn and soybean enterprise budget. Vegetable growers that may have 35 – 40 different products may wish to develop budgets on their key products (those products that contribute the most to the attainment of producer goals).

Transplant Production, Seed Starting, Greenhouse

Transplant Decision Matrix

Production/ Succession Planting

Yield Expectations for Mixed Stand, Small-Scale Agriculture

Scheduling Vegetable Plantings for Continual Harvest – ATTRA

Can I Grow That Here? Vegetable Seed & Transplant Schedules for Garden / Container – Montana State University Extension

Johnny’s Succession Planting Calculator – Free

Peer Networks

Practical Farmers of Iowa 

Practical Farmers of Iowa’s mission is to strengthen farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information sharing.

PFI is an inclusive organization representing a diversity of farmers. Farmers in our network raise corn and soybeans, hay, livestock large and small, horticultural crops from fruits and vegetables to cut flowers and herbs, and more. Our members have conventional and organic systems; employ diverse management practices; run operations of all sizes; and come from a range of backgrounds. These farmers come together, however, because they believe in nature as the model for agriculture and they are committed to moving their operations toward sustainability.


Fairshare CSA Coalition

FairShare CSA Coalition works with CSA Growers and Eaters. Our farms are dedicated to producing exceptional food to their Community Supported Agriculture members.

From farm to table and back to farm, we bridge the gap between area farmers and folks who are longing for a deeper connection to food and community.

For over 20 years, FairShare Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Coalition (formerly Madison Area CSA Coalition, MACSAC) has made CSA more accessible by linking people who care about the food they eat to local farmers who grow top-quality food for their local communities. Through education, outreach, community building and resource sharing, FairShare is committed to raising the bar on the quality and accessibility of CSA shares in Southern Wisconsin.


MOSES – Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Service

The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) is a nonprofit organization based in Spring Valley, Wis. We promote organic and sustainable agriculture by providing the education, resources and expertise farmers need to succeed.

MOSES Conference WorkshopEducating farmers about organic and sustainable production is the foundation of our work. The cornerstone of this foundation is the annual MOSES Organic Farming Conference, the country’s largest conference on organic and sustainable farming. The MOSES Conference draws 3,000+ people each February to La Crosse, Wis. for more than 60 workshops, inspiring speakers, a two-floor Exhibit Hall, and organically grown food.


Iowa Nut Growers Association 

INGA is an Iowa non-profit corporation founded in 1942 and incorporated in 1968 to promote:

  1. An interest in nut-bearing plants
  2. Scientific research in breeding and culture
  3. Standardization of varietal names
  4. Encouraging greater use of nut trees in Iowa Agriculture and home landscape plantings
  5. Dissemination of information on all of the topics above

Wisconsin Fresh Market Vegetable Growers Association