Whole Farm Planning

Virginia Whole Farm Planning for Beginners

The Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Program (VBFRCP) is working hard to improve opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers to establish and sustain viable agricultural operations thorough whole farm planning programs.  We offer several, place-based whole farm planning training opportunities across Virginia.  These trainings provide farmers with a range of classroom-based workshops, farm tours, field instruction, and networking opportunities using our Whole Farm Planning curriculum.

Certified Farm Seekers Program
Throughout Virginia

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The CFS program is led by Virginia Farm Bureau Young Farmers and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and consumer Services (VDACS).  Through whole farm planning curriculum,  individuals seeking farming opportunities, will be provided with the tools needed to successfully demonstrate their farming commitment and vision to interested landowner.  The CFS Program is designed around helping interested farmers produce a business plan and resume, as well as demonstrate on-farm experience.


Certified Farm Seekers - Katie Myer

VA Farm Bureau Young Farmers - Ron Saacke

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services - Andy Sorrell

Virginia State University's Beginning Farmer Program:  Whole Farm Planning Workshops
Southside and Eastern Virginia

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The VSU Small Farm Outreach Program is offering Beginning Farmer Program Workshops in 2017. The introductory workshops are designed for beginning farmers and ranchers to establish and sustain viable agricultural operations thorough whole farm planning programs. Instructors at VSU are very familiar with most agricultural education opportunities across Virginia and can show new farmers where to get the help they need for any farming enterprise. 

To view the 2017 Small Farm Outreach flyer, click HERE

More information is available at www.agriculture.vsu.edu or contact Patrick Johnson at (804) 524-6245 or pbjohnson@vsu.edu


VSU Small Farm Outreach Program - Patrick Johnson

Virginia Cooperative Extension

Growers’ Academy

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The Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center offers the Growers Academy program. Courses are specifically designed to help new and transitioning agricultural businesses succeed. The six week learning series focuses on whole farm business planning including topics such as crop planning, budgeting, marketing and management. Instructors represent resource professionals and farm business owners. The Growers Academy will not be offered in 2017, but the Catawba Sustainability Center has a Small Farm Incubator program available.

For more information on the 2017 Small Farm Incubator Program, you can view this document


Catawba Sustainability Center - Adam Taylor

Virginia Cooperative Extension

Appalachian Sustainable Development's Whole Farm Planning 
Southwest Virginia

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Appalachian Sustainable Development works with Virginia Cooperative Extension in southwest Virginia to offer continual Whole Farm Planning workshops and business planning assistance.  These opportunities aim to assist Appalachian farmers in addressing available local marketing opportunities and developing a working business plan, while promoting sustainable agricultural practices.

For more information, please contact Tamara McNaughton at (276) 623-1121 or tmcnaughton@asdevelop.org


Appalachian Sustainable Development - Tamara McNaughton

Virginia Cooperative Extension

The Northern Piedmont Beginning Farmer Program
Fauquier County, Virginia 

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This several week course is a joint effort of Cooperative Extension in Culpeper, Fauquier, Loudoun, and Rappahannock Counties; the Fauquier Education Farm; and Fauquier County Department of Agricultural Development. This program focuses on:  Introduction to Whole Farm Planning; Marketing; and Introduction to Farm Business Management.

For more information on the Northern Piedmont Beginning Farmer Program, click HERE.

For more information, please contact Jim Hankins at fauquieredfarm@gmail.com or call 804.892.4492


Fauquier County Ag. Development Office -  Ray Pickering

Fauquier Education Farm -  Jim Hankins 

Virginia Cooperative Extension



If you want to stay informed about our program activities using social media, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or subscribe to our listserv.  If you have comments or questions, please contact Allyssa Mark by email.

The Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Program is a state-wide and coalition-based Extension program housed in Virginia Tech’s Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education. Funding was sponsored by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Award #2015-70017-22887. For more information, contact Kim Niewolny, Program Director and Extension Specialist, at niewolny@vt.edu or 540-231-5784.


For website updates, such as broken links, please contact Allyssa Mark, Program Associate.