Helping their Field of Dreams Come True
Meet the New Face of Agriculture
New farmers and ranchers are digging in and getting down to business. HMI’s Beginning Farmers & Ranchers Program is helping to show them the way. The objective of this program is to educate and empower these newcomers (with 10 or less years of farming/ranching experience) so they are positioned to apply Holistic Management principles and practices in order to build successful businesses.
The USDA has identified a need for an additional 100,000 farmers in the next five years, so the need for effective training programs is immense. That’s why the USDA NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program awarded HMI 2 three-year training grants totaling $1,166,000 to train these new farmers and ranchers. While the grants are over, HMI has found additional partners and funders to provide more training in new locations so we can still offer scholarships to eligible participants. Learn more about the curriculum below.
New York (women only) – Register now for our 2016 course. Deadline to register is January 3, 2016.
New Hampshire & Vermont (new and experienced farmers, men & women) – Register now for our 2016 course.
Connecticut (men & women) – CLOSED
Texas (men & women) – This series has already started. Please contact HMI to get on the waiting list for next year.
HMI is pleased to announce that the Beginning Farmers & Ranchers Program and many of our other courses qualify for FSA Borrower Training Credit. Find out More.
If this course isn’t available in your state, we have other programs that are also suitable for beginning farmers & ranchers:
Learning the Ropes
We teach the Holistic Management whole farm/ranch planning system that helps farm and ranch families integrate economic, social, and ecological factors into their management decisions. Infused in this program are sessions to help farmers learn and implement leadership and communications skills. Participants gain knowledge about soil fertility, livestock production, grazing planning, whole farm planning skills and gain entrepreneurial focus.
Our past program participants have demonstrated remarkable achievements when they apply what they’ve learned to their farms and ranches.
- Up to a 39% increase in gross revenue
- Improved record keeping systems
- Achieved financial goals
- Improved on-farm/ranch decision making
- Improved marketing skills
- Improved animal health
- Increased forage production
- Introduce Holistic Management whole farm/ranch program
- Create a whole farm/ranch financial plan
- Increase business profitability
- Business planning basics
- Create a marketing plan
- Manage time
- Understand soil fertility basics
- Plan land and infrastructure
- Improve land health & sustainable soil building techniques
- Examine enterprise’s environmental impact
- Introduce leadership/communication skills
HMI is proud to work with the following collaborators:
- CT NOFA
- Women’s Agriculture Network
- Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture
- Small & Beginning Farmers of NH
- University of New Hampshire Extension
- Central NY RC&D
- Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship
- Vermont New Farmer Project
- Vermont Women’s Ag Network
- University of Vermont Extension
- Sustainable Food Center
- Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers Association
Empowering Agricultural Producers
At HMI we don’t just measure the number of people we train, but the impact we’ve had on their lives and their farms. Here are results from our first three-year program in which we trained beginning women farmers.
Knowledge Change by Course*
99% Whole Farm Goal
99% On-Farm Decision Making
96% Time Management
100% Financial Planning
93% Business Planning
90% Soil Fertility
100% Leadership & Communication
98% Planned Grazing
93% Holistic Goal/ Whole Farm Plan
82% Financial Plan
78% Business Plan
68% Marketing Plan
57% Biological Monitoring
92% Increased Network
57% Experienced Increased Net Income
35% Experienced Gross Revenue Increase
*These percentages represent the total number of participants surveyed that experienced change.
Learn more about the program and the remarkable results we achieve…
Beginning Women Farmer Conference: Exploring Whole Farm Planning at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. We’ve published the full proceedings from the conference.
HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT AT MULLIGAN CREEK ACRES, by former Beginning Farmers & Ranchers Program participant Tanya Moyer, Fall 2015 Quarterly, a publication of Cornell Small Farms Programs