Assess Yourself

Do You Want to Be an Agricultural Business Owner?:

Finding the Niche: Case Studies of Beginning Small-Scale Farmers” These case studies provide both an inspiration and a reality check. Download the PDF left.  Also available from the NESFI Bookstore.

“The Greenhorns Guide for Beginning Farmers”.  Part pep talk, part institutional index, part career planning guide, this guidebook is written by young farmers for young farmers.

Voices of Experience Videos: Good Advice for New Farmers – From Cornell Cooperative Extension, this video series of interviews with 12 New York state farmers covers a variety of topics of interest to new farmers.   The farmers interviewed represent a wide range of enterprises.

Other Opportunities in the Field of Agriculture:

“Agripedia Careers in Agriculture” – A listing of agricultural career opportunities.

“Guide to USDA Career Opportunities”

American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers – Worth investigating if you are interested in becoming a salaried farm manager 

Rewards & Risks of Agricultural Business Ownership:

“Risk Assessment for the Small-Scale Farm”   (see left)

“Reckon with Risk” – An on-line tool to help beginnng farmers address risk.  Targeted to Massachusetts farmers but also helpful to others.

Knowledge & Skills Assessment:

DACUM Occupational Profile for Northeast Small-Scale ‘Sustainable’ Farmer Self Assessment Tool – A detailed farming skills assessment, based on materials developed by a panel of successful farmers.

Quality of Life, Environmental & Financial Considerations:

Grower to grower: Creating a livelihood on a fresh market vegetable farm – a study conducted by University of Wisconsin Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems of vegetable growers at three scales of operation, the smallest being 0.5-2.7 acres.  The study authors state that the information”can help guide growers as they set financial and quality of life goals.”

Holistic ManagementTM: A Whole-Farm Decision-Making Framework – A summary by ATTRA of Holistic ManagementTM planning steps.

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