Apply for the 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 has helped train more than 1,500 farmers across the country during the past 15 years.

Seven out of seven participants in OEFFA's inaugural class would recommend this course to another beginning farmer!

The classroom portion of this program meets two Saturdays per month from October 2018 through February 2019 for a total of eight day-long sessions. During this period, participants will develop a business plan, learn and network at the 40th annual OEFFA conference, and develop a Growing Season Learning Plan to make the most out of on-farm learning opportunities during the 2019 season. Participants graduate in September 2018.

A detailed schdule of the program is available here.

Cost: $1,200 for up to two individuals from the same farm business working on the same business plan. Payment plans are available upon request.

Scholarships now available! Scholarships are awarded based on financial need, passion and capacity for sustainable farming, ability to implement farmer training education in farm business, and farmer's understanding of the value of this farmer training program. If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, read the entire application before you begin to ensure you are qualified. Scholarship application and instructions available here.

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

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 September 30, 2018. 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 deposit 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, click here or call Rachel Tayse at (614) 421-2022. 
Make checks payable to: Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA)
Mail to: OEFFA c/o Heartland Farm Beginnings, 41 Croswell Rd., Columbus, OH 43214

Fill out the form below to receive a complete application packet at no charge. **Please note that the application deadline has been extended to September 30 and this is not reflected in the application packet.**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) 421-2022 or kelly@oeffa.org.

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