Beginning Farmers

Planning and Record Keeping for a Better Growing Season


Planning and Record Keeping for a Better Growing Season

Looking to be more organized in 2014? Aiming to have an effective crop plan that sets the course for a successful season? Hoping to keep better farm records this year that could help you understand ways to make your farm more productive and more profitable?

Come to our all-day workshop to learn about how to use AgSquared’s online software toolkit to easily gather the information you need to better manage your farm and make both day-to-day and strategic farming decisions.

This event is $10/person. Lunch will be provided.

Date and Time: Thursday, March 27th, 10:00AM to 4:00PM

Location: Clackamas Community College, Oregon City, OR

** Click here to Register **


Drew Katz, AgSquared’s Director of User Support and Farmer Engagement, will train you in how to get started with AgSquared. In this class you will learn how to set up your AgSquared account, create a crop plan, manage your day to day schedule with AgSquared, and review your records for better decision making. You will also get to hear from an Oregon farmer currently using AgSquared on the farm. You do not need to have already created an AgSquared account to join this training - you will have the opportunity to create a free AgSquared account during the workshop.

Beginning Farms Programs

The Greenhorns’ Guide for Beginning Farmers - Greenhorns

Start 2 Farm - National Agricultural Library, USDA

Beginning Farmers - Cornell Small Farms Program

Beginning Farmer Center - Iowa State University

Beginning Farmer Resource Network of Maine - University of Maine

Missouri Beginning Farmers - University of Missouri

Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Loans - USDA FSA

Beginning Farmers Guide - Farm Aid

Resources for Beginning Farmers - Land Stewardship Project

What can I do with my Small Farm?

What Can I Do With My Small Farm? Selecting an Enterprise for Small Acreages - Often, when people buy a small farm they simply want someone to tell them what they can "do" with it. As strange as it might seem, this isn't an easy questions to answer. Before making decisions, you should consider these major factors that interact with and influence each other.

Growing Farms: Successful Whole Farm Management Planning Book: Think It! Write It! -Growing Farms: Successful Whole Farm Management is a workshop series that enhances the success of new farmers by helping participants think through biological, physical, financial, and family aspects of farm business. The workshops include classroom and field sessions, and topics follow a natural sequence, from planning through production to long-term management. As participants progress through the Growing Farms series, their ideas about farming and ranching as a lifestyle and business become more focused.

Small Farms Funding Resources - This guide contains information about issues to consider before starting a farming operation with links to full-text guides on how to start a farm business, and develop business and marketing plans. It also contains information about funding sources for beginning farmers, training, technical assistance contacts, organizations with resources and programs for beginning and experienced farmers, and more.

Building a Sustainable Business: A Guide to Developing a Business Plan for Farms and Rural Businesses - Building a Sustainable Business: A Guide to Developing a Business Plan for Farms and Rural Businesses brings the business planning process alive to help today's alternative and sustainable agriculture entrepreneurs transform farm-grown inspiration into profitable enterprises.Sample worksheets lend a practical perspective and illustrate how real farm families set goals, researched processing alternatives, determined potential markets, and evaluated financing options. Blank worksheets help the reader develop a detailed, lender-ready business plan or map out strategies to take advantage of new opportunities.

List of Alternative Crops & Enterprises for Small Farm Diversification--Alternative Farming Systems Information Center - This list of alternatives was compiled using AFSIC reference request files, the subject files in our office, as well as previously compiled lists, most notably "Innovative Farming Idea List," (1987) compiled by Nancy Grudens Schuck, Farming Alternatives Project, Cornell University and "Ideas for Alternative Agricultural Enterprises," (1996) put together by the Missouri Alternatives Center. This list is not comprehensive, but presents some of the more accessible innovations available to farmers.

National Agricultural Statistics Service - Detailed information on crops and returns for each state by commodity with some historical data. This site does not contain detailed information on some specialty crops.

OSU Extension Catalog - The Catalog is the source for current, peer-reviewed, research-based learning materials published by OSU Extension. It is an active and growing resource, with learning materials in a variety of media for use in a variety of outreach and engagement activities and programs.

Web Soil Survey - The USDA Web Soil Survey is a tool where you can create a soil map of your property.  You’ll be able to identify the types of soil and learn more about how they function such as the infiltration, available water holding capacity, depth, structure, and restrictive features or limitations like risk of erosion and compaction.

Oregon Water Resources Deparment - Find out more about the water rights on you property.

Oregon Agricultural Enterprise Budgets - Search by region, county, and.or commodity for enterprise budgets to evaluate profitability of crops on your farm.

Top Ten Things I Learned Buying a Small Farm - From the Winter 2007 edition of the Oregon Small Farms News, this article discusses land, soil, site evaluation, water, and other tips a fellow farmer learned while buying a small farm.

North Willamette Valley Livestock Farm Tours

Small Farms Summer Livestock Series

Join us for any of four stand-alone workshops on beef, sheep, poultry processing and hogs. All workshops take place on-farm and focus on strategies to help small farms manage production and marketing risk to create viable and successful small farm livestock enterprises.

Raising Beef on Grass

Ralph Meyer Farm, Oregon City

Tuesday, June 19, 2012,                1pm-6pm

$30 per person or $45 for two per participants from the same farm


This on-farm workshop addresses management, production and marketing of grass-fed beef. Topics will include rotational grazing, pasture management, quality feed production, herd health, forage quality for finishing beef, and niche marketing. A class binder and refreshments are included in the cost of the program. Instructors: Ralph Meyer (), Nita Wilton (Graf Century Farm), and Gene Pirelli (OSU Extension Livestock and Forage Specialist). Presented in partnership with USDA RMA.

Pre-registration is required. For more information, contact Heidi Noordijk at (503) 678-1264 ext. 141 or




Raising and Marketing Healthy Sheep

SuDan Farm, Canby

Thursday, June 28 2012 2pm-7pm

$30 per person or $45 for two per participants from the same farm


Join Dan and Susie Wilson of SuDan Farms, Gene Pirelli of OSU Extension Service and Robert Dyk of USDA-APHIS in this day-long workshop focused on small-scale sheep production. Topics will include pasture management and rotational grazing, sheep nutritional requirements, Scrapie eradication in Oregon, small scale infrastructure, wool production and marketing for meat and fiber. Dinner and a class binder are included in the cost of the program. Presented in partnership with USDA RMA and Oregon Sheep Growers Association.

Pre-registration is required. For more information, contact Heidi Noordijk at (503) 678-1264 ext. 141 or


Processing Poultry – HB 2872 and the 1000 bird exemption

Deo Volente Farm, Mulino

Monday, July 16th, 2pm-7pm,

$60 per person or $90 for partners from the same farm sharing animals


This hands-on workshop addresses the new laws and regulations for farm direct slaughter and sales under Oregon HB 2872 (the 1000 bird exemption). The A to Z's of poultry processing, sanitation, pathogen management, and regulatory compliance will be covered as each participant processes a bird to take home. Pasture management and niche marketing will also be addressed. Dinner and a class binder are provided. Please bring work clothes, work gloves, and rubber boots.  Instructors: Sara, Scott and Andrew (Deo Volente Farm), Pete Sturman (OSU North Willamette Research and Extension Center) and Lauren Gwin (OSU Small Farms Program and Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network).

Presented in partnership with USDA RMA.

Pre-registration is required. For more information, contact Heidi Noordijk at (503) 678-1264 ext. 141 or


Integrating Pigs into a Diverse Small Farm Operation

Growing Seeds Farm, Corbett

Wednesday, August 22, 1 p.m.-6 p.m.

$30 per person or $45 for two per participants from the same farm


Join Jessica and Fred Eppley-Henning of Growing Seeds Farm, Pete Sturman, Nick Andrews and Gene Pirelli with OSU extension to learn about raising healthy pigs on a diverse farm. Specific topics are coming soon.

Presented in partnership with USDA RMA.

Pre-registration is required. For more information, contact Heidi Noordijk at (503) 678-1264 ext. 141 or






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.

Beginning Farmers

beginning farmers

What can I do with my Small Farm?

Resources to get your started with your very own Small Farm. Small acreage enterprise, growing farms, sustainable business, and other resources to read.

Growing Farms: Successful Whole Farm Management

Growing Farms workshops provide beginning farmers with the tools and knowledge needed to manage the biological and financial risks of farming. 

Growing Agripreneurs: A tool kit

A Model for Beginning Farmer Hands-on Education

Beginning Urban Farmer Apprenticeship (BUFA)

BUFA is a season-long training for new and aspiring farmers conducted in and around Portland, Oregon by OSU Extension Service, Grow Portland, and community partners.  Build your foundation in small-scale farming and community food production with BUFA.

Women Farmer Networks

The League of Women Farmers provides women farmers with opportunities for business networking, expanding knowledge, and socializing in a supportive, open environment.

Beginning Farms Programs

Other Beginning Farm Programs from arcoss the nation. Be sure to check out their sites and resources available to you.

Small Farm Program Videos on Vimeo

Check out session videos from a variety of Small Farm Program events. These videos are available to watch on Vimeo at anytime!


Stay Connected with the OSU Small Farms Program

Oregon Small Farms News

A free online newsletter that concentrates on both commercial small farm entrepreneurs as well as non-commercial small acreage landowners.

Oregon Small Farms Conference

A daylong event geared toward farmers, agriculture professionals, food policy advocates, students and managers of farmers markets.

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 Subscribe South Valley Small Farms Email List

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