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Beginning Farmers Resources

Resources for beginning farmers and existing farms are available through the University of Massachusetts Extension program, part of the Center for Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. As the state's land-grant institution, the University of Massachusetts in Amherst has the technical resources, faculty and professional staff to provide the research-based assistance needed by farmers of all backgrounds. This includes diagnostic services for pest and soil management, technical guides on all aspects of sustainable production and marketing of food crops and two research farms where new crops and production practices are constantly evaluated and refined. We draw upon our Extension history, a body of experience with a wide range of educational apporaches to adult learning, from one-on-one training on the farm, to interactive workshops and academic coursework. Our goal is to enhance the likelihood of success of new agricultural enterprises by making the best resources and training available to all new or diversifying farmers in Massachusetts.

The information on the pages listed below are resources for new as well as existing farmers, providing answers to questions on a wide variety of topics, from growing individual crops to business planning, labor law, zoning, regulations, marketing and diagnostic and soil test services.

Business Resources for Farms in Massachusetts

Links to UMass Extension people and other agencies to help start a farm or help with an existing farm, Finances and Taxes, Regulations and Laws

Farm FAQs for:

Educational Programs

A listing of educational and training programs for beginning and existing farmers.

Agricultural Extension Resources

Links to: Best Management Practices guidelines, Food safety, Managment Guides, Newsletters, Pest Alerts, UMass Extension Bookstore, Storm Preparation and Response

General Laws for Massachusetts Agriculture

Resources for general laws related to agriculture in Massachusetts.