Beginning Farmers

Beginning Urban Farmer Apprenticeship

2015 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 and community partners.  BUFA provides three options for participation to train urban and small-scale farmers and community land stewards in vegetable and fruit production and farm business management.  BUFA can help you to build your foundation in farming.

BUFA offers small-scale farming education to the next generation of farmers, non-profit garden managers,  food justice leaders, and local food entrepreneurs..  The program teaches students basic skills in vegetable production, fruit production  and the field of small-scale agriculture.  BUFA helps participants develop connections and relationships with the organizations, farmers, food justice leaders, and businesses  that make up our local food system.  We want to help you explore local small-scale agriculture as potential career path to help transform our local food system.

BUFA studens planting potatoes

We have three options for participation in BUFA including:

Limited scholarships are available for all tracks.  Scholarship deadline is November 30, 2014.

To learn more about BUFA

Do you want to be on our contact list? Please complete our interest form.

Contact Jen Aron at 503-758-7386 or email.

Read testimonials from our students


Provide financial support for BUFA

Make a tax deductible donation to support our scholaraship program for BUFA.

 

picture of quinoa

Apply for BUFA

Apply for BUFARegistration opens October 1, 2014.  There are a limited number of slots available for each track.  Register soon!

Limited scholarships are available for BUFA based on economic need and future plans in farming.

Scholarship application deadline November 30, 2014. 

The scholarship application is a two-step process including:

  1. Complete the general BUFA application
  2. Complete scholarship application

Please note, scholarship recipients will be required to sign a contract with BUFA that indicates your understanding of your roles and responsibilities for participation in BUFA.  Here is a sample contract for the Market Farming Track.


BUFA training details

BUFA is a seven-month (season-long) program that offers small-scale farming education to the next generation of farmers, non-profit garden managers,  food justice leaders, and local food entrepreneurs..  The program teaches students basic skills in vegetable production,, fruit production   and the field of small-scale agriculture.  BUFA helps participants develop connections and relationships with the organizations, farmers, food justice leaders, and businesses  that make up our local food system.  We want to help you explore local small-scale agriculture as potential career path to help transform our local food system.

How does BUFA work?

Through formal classes, hands-on training, field trips, direct marketing sales (Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and restaurant sales) and online learning resources, BUFA provides a fun and interactive educational experience.  Our focus on the fundamentals of small-scale farming makes this the perfect training for the novice farmer/gardener interested in community-scale food production.  BUFA also includes online access to OSU Small Farms Program's  Growing Farms: Successful Whole Farm Management Seminar Series.  While participating in BUFA, students will connect with many local farmers and hear about the ups and downs of their food production enterprise.  Students will also visit local farms urban food based businesses to see how they really work.  This networking, along with the practical growing experience, provides students with a strong foundation for work and/or volunteering in the fields of food production, food justice, and urban-scale agriculture.

BUFA learning options

There are three options available for participation in BUFA to meet your educational needs and fit into your lifestyle including the following:

Option 1: Market Farming track- $3,000 (550+ hours of instruction)

Participants looking to jump-start their career in agricultural food production and/or marketing.  This intensive, hands-on track will focus on diverse crop production, small-scale farm management, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and restaurant sales.  Scholarships available.  Cohort limited to 12 qualified participants.

Option 2: Community Farming track- $1,500 (200+ hours of instruction)

Participants interested in our classroom and field trip learning opportunities, who also desire a hands-on, in the field learning experience focused on urban, community-based food production.  Students will learn how to use small spaces to maximize food production.  Scholarships available.

Option 3: Classroom and Field trip track- $1,000 (100+ hours of instruction)

Participants who want to learn more about vegetable production and whole farm management through classes and field trips only.  This is a good option for people with limited time who want to a basic exposure to the field of small-scale agriculture.  Scholarships available.

Course topics based on university research include:

  • Soil management including fertilizers, compost, mulch, and cover crops
  • Intensive vegetable production using hand and small power tools
  • Berry and fruit tree production and edible landscaping
  • Ecological landscape management including native and ornamental plants
  • Organic Integrated Pest Management (IPM) with special emphasis on weed control
  • Farm/landscape infrastructure including irrigation, materials choices, and installation
  • Farm business planning and marketing
  • Community resources and next steps.

BUFA learning objectives

  • Create management plan for urban farms and community landscapes with detailed analysis of benefits and drawbacks of various garden management practices
  • Design and install urban-scale farm and landscape infrastructure
  • Practice important farming skills and use tools safely and effectively
  • Apply principles of healthy soil for healthy plants to gardens and landscape management
  • Understand methods and products for organic Integrated Pest Management (IPM) including weed management options
  • Analyze social aspects of urban farming, community gardening
  • Perform marketing analysis and create a farm business plan
  • Communicate learning with peers and the larger community.

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 othe.

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.

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 heidi.noordijk@oregonstate.edu

REGISTER ON-LINE

 

 

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 heidi.noordijk@oregonstate.edu

REGISTER ON-LINE

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 heidi.noordijk@oregonstate.edu

REGISTER ON-LINE

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 heidi.noordijk@oregonstate.edu

REGISTER ON-LINE

 

 

 

 

Beginning Farmer Resources

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 othe.

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.

Sustainable Agriculture

Alternative Agricultural Enterprises - In general, revenues from traditional agricultural enterprises have declined steadily over the past 5 years. This has forced many producers to diversify their operations to maintain profitability. During this time several horticultural crops have played a significant role in the diversification process.

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.

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.

Mulch-Based Agriculture Group's Web Site - The Management of Organic Inputs in Soils of the Tropics Group at Cornell University is an interdisciplinary working group under the sponsorship pf Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture, and Development to investigate and exchange information on cover crops, green manures, managed fallows and mulches in tropical farming systems.

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 -Farms and ranches are of vital importance to the United States. With the vast majority of the population living in urban or semi-urban communities, it is easy to forget the importance and the scope of our agricultural production.

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.