Heartland Farm Beginnings® Training Course

The Heartland needs more farmers! This year-long training course helps beginning and transitioning farmers build a strong foundation for success by identifying values, setting goals, and developing whole farm and strategic business plans. Participants will benefit from a small cohort of like-minded classmates, classroom trainings, quality printed materials, one-on-one mentorship, statewide networking, and on-farm experiences. This in-depth, field-tested course is new to Ohio, but has helped train more than 1,500 farmers across the country during the past 15 years.

The classroom portion of this program meets two Saturdays per month from October 2017 through February 2018 for a total of ten day-long sessions. During this period, participants will develop a business plan with the assistance of a farmer mentor, learn and network at the 39th annual OEFFA conference, and develop a Growing Season Learning Plan to make the most out of on-farm learning opportunities during the 2018 season. Participants graduate in September 2018. A detailed schdule of the program is available here.

Cost: $1200 for up to two individuals from the same farm business working on the same business plan. Payment plans are available upon request.

Deposit: A $75 deposit must be submitted with your application and is credited towards your final registration fee.

Sign up early and save $200! Register for only $1000 when your application is post-marked by August 15, 2017 and you provide payment in full by the first class on October 7, 2017.

How to apply: All applications must be submitted by mail with the $75 deposit. Applications will not be reviewed without a deposit. Applications must be post-marked by Friday, September 15. Request a free application packet by entering your contact information below.

What to expect: Qualified applicants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants do not compete with each other; rather, they are evaluated for their individual readiness for this program. Space is limited to 10 farms, so we recommend applying early. All applicants will be notified by September regarding acceptance or denial via email. If you are accepted, your deposite is not refundable. If you are not accepted, your deposit check will not be cashed.

Is Heartland Farm Beginnings┬« right for me?: Farm Beginnings is specifically designed for early career farmers (10 years or less) with some knowledge and experience who want support as they plan for long term success. We ask that you apply to attend so we can evaluate whether or not this course suits your current agricultural career stage. If you have questions about whether or not Heartland Farm Beginnings┬« makes sense for you, call Kelly Henderson at (614) 947-1633. 
Make checks payable to: Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA)
Mail to: OEFFA, 41 Croswell Rd., Columbus, OH 43214 c/o Kelly Henderson


Fill out the form below to receive a complete application packet at no charge. The application packet includes an introductory letter, a program information sheet with detailed application instructions, a program schedule with session times and topics, and two application formats allowing you to fill out the application by hand or in Microsoft Word.

Upon submission of this form you will receive a follow up email with an electronic version of the full application packet. Paper application packets are also available via mail. Please respond to the follow up email to request a paper packet. If you have questions, please contact Kelly Henderson at (614) 947-1633 or kelly@oeffa.org.

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