Beginning Farmer Resources

Sustainable Agriculture

Organic Farming Publications - With the organic market growing steadily, you may be interested in learning more about organic certification and organic production options. These resources offer guidance in preparing for certification and in production methods for a range of organic crops and livestock. Many of these publications were developed in response to producer questions, and they deal with issues related to specific products, as well as production methods, marketing, and organic certification requirements.

Organic Farming Research Foundation - Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) has a very clear vision -- that organic farming will be the leading form of agriculture in America. OFRF cultivates organic research, education, and federal policy that brings more farmers and acreage into organic production. Founded in 1990, OFRF is a leading  champion of American organic family farmers.

Alternative Farming Systems Information Center - Alternative Farming Systems Information Center publications orient searchers to sustainable agriculture topics, provide research guidance and optimize information retrieval. Out print and electronic resources describe specific topics; identify relevant books, articles, papers, and electronic sources; list subject experts or organizational contacts; suggest reading materials and Web sites; and offer database and Internet search tips.

PNW Steep Home Page - Solutions To Environmental and Economic Problems is an innovative interdisciplinary research/education program focusing on developing profitable cropping systems technologies for controlling cropland soil erosion and protecting environmental quality. STEEP is a collaborative project involving scientists and educators from the University of Idaho, Oregon State University, Washington State University, and USDA-Agricultural Research Service, in cooperation with grower organizations and agricultural support industries and agencies.

Center for Sustaining Ag & Natural Resources - The Center has been working for two decades to bring sustainable solutions to the citizens and agricultural industry of Washington State. Sustainability is an idea that is beginning to permeate mainstream society, including becoming a driving force behind the agriculture and food system and also the university.

Is Agroforestry Appropriate for your Small Farm? -  Agroforestry combines agriculture and forestry technologies to create a more integrated, diverse, productive, profitable, healthy, and sustainable land-use system that is especially beneficial to the small scale farm. In the Pacific Northwest, the best combination integrates woody perennials like conifers and hardwoods with improved forage species and pastures for grazing animals in what is called silvopasture. Sheep or goats are most suitable due to the quantity of forage biomass available with time as the trees mature. Since forests take longer to mature, adoption of this technology can increase profitability, reduce overall risk, and increase environmental benefits from overall land management.

Sustainable Research and Education Program (SAREP) - SAREP provides leadership and support for scientific research and education in agricultural and food systems that are economically viable, conserve natural resources and biodiversity, and enhance the quality of life in the state's communities. SAREP serves farmers, farmworkers, ranchers, researchers, educators, regulators, policy makers, industry professionals, consumers, and community organizations across the state.

Sustainable Agriculture Network & National (SARE) - The SARE grants and education program has advanced agricultural innovation that promotes profitability, stewardship of the land, air and water, and quality of life for farmers, ranchers and their communities.

Small Farms Related Sites

Washington State Small Farms - The Small Farms Team works with communities and individuals across Washington to foster a profitable farming system, to promote land and water stewardship, and to ensure that all Washingtonians have unrestricted access to healthy food.

Acreage & Small Farm Insights - UNL Extension is committed to helping you know more about creating resource and energy efficient rural and urban landscapres, protecting and managing water resources, properly managing insect and wildlife pests, and more.

ACES College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences - When you pursue a career in crop sciences, you impact your world. Whether you are improving plants to meet the growing demand for the world’s food supply, learning how to manage diseases, insects and weeds, studying interactions between agriculture and our environment to enhance food and fuel production, interpreting life systems through biology, computer and information technology, or conserving, maintain and enhancing ecosystems, you are helping feed the world.

Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas - ATTRA services are available to farmers, ranchers, market gardeners, Extension agents, researchers, educators, farm organizations, and others involved in agriculture, especially those who are economically disadvantaged or belong to traditionally underserved communities.

Small Farms at USDA - Small and midsize producers provide new opportunities for American agriculture across the country. This page provides small and midsize producers valuable resources and program information about access to capital, land management and conservation practices, managing risk, finding local markets, and other educational resources.

Small Farm Center - The University of California Small Farm Program focuses on the challenges and opportunities of California's small-scale farm operators. Developing field and marketing research aimed at the needs of small- and moderate-scale farmers, and provide that information to farmers who are often not reached by traditional extension programs. Clients include farmers of many different cultures who operate a wide variety of farming operations, often with limited resources.

Cornell Small Farms - Cornell Small Farms mission is to foster the sustainability of diverse, thriving small farms that contribute to food security, healthy rural communities, and the environment. We do this by encouraging small farms-focused research and extension programs and fostering collaboration in support of small farms.

Maryland Small Farms Institute - The Small Farm Institute sesks to serve and meet the needs of small farmers. At the SFI, sustainable agricultural technologies are developed to offer research, educational, and outreach programs in all areas of agriculture including specialty/ethnic crops, intensive hydroponic production, farm management and marketing.

Alternative Farming Systems Information Center - AFSIC focuses on topics related to sustainable and alternative agricultural systems, crops and livestock. We work to implement the NAL mission of "advancing access to global information for agriculture."

Large Searchable Sites

Agrinet - The Texas Agribusiness Market Research Center is dedicated to providing high quality, objective, and timely market research to support strategic agribusiness decision-making at all levels along the supply chain from producers to processors, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers.

Ceres Online: Ag Search - AgSearch enables you to search over 90 search engines quickly and efficiently. Simply choose a category and enter keywords, company names, etc. to get the agricultural information you need.

National Agriculture Library - The National Agriculture Library houses one of the world's largest and most accessible agricultural information collections and serves as the nexus for a national network of state land-grant and U.S. Department of Agriculture field libraries.

Mann Library Homepage - Mann’s print and digital collections cover a wide range of cross-cutting basic and applied sciences, from genetics and evolutionary biology  to crop science and natural resources management, from fiber science and biochemistry to human development and business management.