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What Are New Farmer Characteristics?

Each new farmer enters farming with some combination of attributes and ideas about farming. Here is a framework developed by several collaborating organizations* to help understand the new farmer and his or her service needs:

New farmers current situation (who they are and what they bring to farming)

Background and expertise

  • Farming skills and knowledge
  • Farm management expertise
  • Farming background

Assets and resources

  • "stage" of commitment to farming
  • family and community support and networks
  • resources (land, capital, infrastructure)

New farmers vision (where they are going and what they want)

Livelihood goals

  • Desired amount of time spent farming
  • Desired family standard of living
  • Desired decision-making and risk role

Farm operation and enterprise goals

  • Production system and philosophy
  • Income from farming
  • Marketing strategy

For more information about new farmers, please see our publication, Listening to New Farmers: Findings from New Farmer Focus Groups. You will find it, along with many other interesting publications, on our GNF and NENFN Tools & Resources page.