Training for Farmers

Plain Language Guide to Finding, Assessing, and Securing Farmland in MA

In this Guide to Finding, Assessing, and Securing Farmland in Massachusetts, written in Plain Language, you will learn about:

•Determining the right kind of farmland for you
•Deciding what type of land tenure situation is right for you
•Starting the networking process
•Conducting farmland site visits
•Understanding your land by using the Web Soil Survey and other online information tools
•Negotiating with landowners and signing an agreement to use the land
•Beginning to farm your land!

Finding Land

Media:

  • Digital Download

This user guide provides a slide show, ‘Finding Land,’ that trainers can use to lead a discussion about options for access to farmland. Farmers will learn about choosing a target location for their land search and business and agricultural factors to consider. They will learn how to use internet resources to find local advertised land for rent or sale, and research other information such as land values. This content was originally developed by the American Farmland Trust and adapted for refugee audiences by Katie Painter. This is Part 4 of their 8 Part curriculum, adapted here for an English Language Learner audience. Their full curriculum will be accessible online at a future date.

Introduction to Land Tenure

Media:

  • Digital Download

This user guide provides a slide show, ‘Introduction to Land Tenure,’ that trainers can use to lead a discussion about options for access to farmland. Farmers will learn about different types of land tenure, such as lease arrangements and ownership. They will examine how their personal goals will influence future land tenure decisions for their farm business.

Mixing Cover Crops

Media:

  • Digital Download

This module provides farmers with a foundational understanding of mixing cover crops and provides an overview of a cover crop mix calculator tool, which can help farmers in understanding how much to seed.

Small Livestock: An Introductory Overview to Raising Chickens & Goats

Media:

  • Digital Download

This is a guide for training on the basics of raising farm livestock (specifically chickens and goats). Each lesson can be used independently if desired by the program. It was written for a community farm program in Central Virginia, however most of the concepts are transferable across geography. Local livestock laws and regulations and supply sourcing stores will need to be researched to be relevant for other locations.

Flood Mitigation and Risk Management

Media:

  • Digital Download

This guide is a user’s guide for training on the basics of flood risk management. Each lesson can be used independently if desired by the program. It was written in Central Virginia, however most of the concepts are transferable across geography.

Direct-Wholesale Customer Engagement for Beginning New American Marketers

Media:

  • Digital Download

This user’s guide will help trainers introduce New American farmers to concepts and best practices for engaging direct wholesale customers at different market access points such as independent restaurants and groceries. This guide contains learning activities which can be used together for a comprehensive introduction to direct wholesale marketing or used in sections to focus specific market types.

How to be Ready to Apply for an FSA Loan

Media:

  • Digital Download

The purpose of this guide is to introduce farmers to two kinds of FSA loans, Operating Loans and Micro Operating Loans. It provides an overview of these programs and a checklist tool that farmers can use to gather information and documents they will need for loan applications.

Liability Insurance for Farmers

Media:

  • Digital Download

This is an introduction to vendor and general liability insurance for farmers. The need for good on-farm food and general safety is emphasized, but GAP practices are not covered in this module. The module discusses the need for insurance, what liability insurance is, costs and steps in getting insurance, and provides a few examples of cases where liability insurance is important.

Cover Crop Flashcards and Seeding Calculator

Media:

  • Digital Download

Trainers can use this teaching module to help farmers, either as a group or one-on-one, make a plan for seeding cover crops in their field, by selecting the best cover crop for their needs and determining the right amount of cover crop seeds to purchase and plant.

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