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The Beginning Farmer Program

CT NOFA’s Beginning Farmer Program is supported by an agreement with the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, Inc. (NOFA-NY) under 2011-00974 from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture. 

This grant has enabled CT NOFA to start several exciting projects!

The Apprentice and Intern Program:

The CT NOFA Farm Apprenticeship Program connects experienced farmers with individuals interested in learning how to start and run a farm.  The program provides needed enrichment and support while letting the apprentice and experienced farmer select and manage their experience.  Aspiring farmers can start their farm-based learning with one of the exciting apprenticeship opportunities that our host farms have to offer. Experienced farmers who want to teach eager learners to farm while gaining motivated individuals for farm work have the chance to do that through advertising their apprenticeship opportunity on our database.  To learn more about signing up,visit the CT NOFA apprentice site.

max and kerry


The Journeyperson Program:  Is based on The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s successful journeyperson program.  The program offers accepted newly independent farmers mentor-matching, technical assistance, business planning, support and networking.  The program is designed to fill the education gap between being an apprentice and an independent farmer.  The program provides the resources and opportunities for new farmers to develop their skills already established in farm-training programs and/or apprenticeships.  The program is meant to be shaped by the interests and goals of each participant.  



Connecticut’s 2013 Journeypeople are:

Connecticut’s 2012 Journeypeople are:

The CT NOFA Mentorship Program: Sign up at any time for inclusion in the next round of mentorship matching!  The process is designed so you can learn about and connect with experienced farmers (who want to pass along knowledge and lead you through your journey as a farmer); you control whom you speak with and whom you ultimately pair up with.  Your mentorship arrangement can be as casual or formal as you and your mentor would like.

Click HERE for additional details and an application.


Past workshops in 2012:
Soil and Compost at Common Ground High School with Bill Duesing and Thomas Rathier, Scientist Emeritus at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

david zemelsky


Greenhouse Growing with David Zemelsky of Starlight Gardens and John Bartok from the UConn Extension Service in Durham. Read about the workshop on our blog or view pictures on Flickr.


craig floyd


Humane and Sustainable Livestock with Craig Floyd of Footsteps Farm in Stonington. Read about the workshop on our blog or view pictures on Flickr.



Tractor Repair and Maintenance with Ed Belinsky, Agricultural Mechanics teacher at Nonnewaug and David Blyn from Riverbank Farm.  View photos on Facebook.

Getting Started in Organic Conference on January 18, 2014 was a huge success will over 80 new or transitioning organic farmers in attendance. Check back for details on the 2015 conference!

Beginning Farmer Resources

Connecticut Farm Resources

New England Resources

 National Resources

126 Derby Avenue, Derby, CT 06418

phone: (203) 308-2584 • fax: (203) 308-2586