University of Vermont

Vermont New Farmer Project Vermont New Farmer Project

Resource Guide: Vermont New Farmer Network Member Organization

University of Vermont Extension

University of Vermont Extension logo

University of Vermont Extension
19 Roosevelt Highway
Suite 305
Colchester, VT 05446-5933
1-866-622-2990 (toll-free in Vt.)

Mission: To improve the quality of life of Vermonters by bringing the benefits of research and technology to them; and to provide educational programs and practical information concerning Vermont communities, families and homes, farms, businesses, and the natural environment

Programs of Benefit to New Farmers
UVM Extension has a number of people and programs that benefit new farmers. Most Extension faculty members work one-on-one with individuals on the farm, or by phone, letter, or e-mail. Some host discussion groups, offer larger group meetings/workshops, have web sites, and collaborate with organizations to distribute educational information to people who want it. The following is a short list of topics that could be particularly useful:

Center for Sustainable Agriculture: Center programs are comprehensive efforts to address farmers’ needs on the ground through technical assistance, research, policy and building networks and leadership around issues of major significance in Vermont.  Current programs include land access, farm enterprise, pasture, and local food. Current projects include the Community Biomass Project, Dairy Stewardship Alliance, Equine Pasture Management, Intervale Food Hub, UVM Extension New Farmer Project, and the Winter Grazing Project.

Dairy: Specialists conduct programs for farmers with dairy cattle including breeding, feeding, diseases, recordkeeping, production, and cow comfort.

Farm Business Management: Specialists run Ag Business Management Courses each winter. Other events are offered on topics like business planning, balance sheet and budgeting, farm transfer, and Quickbooks. They also make farm visits for farm financial topics.

Farm Viability Program: Farm Viability Enhancement (FVE) strengthens the economic position of Vermont agriculture and complements existing programs in farmland conservation by helping farmers diversify their businesses. The Center for Sustainable Agriculture is leading UVM Extension’s effort to engage farmers in a business planning process tailored to meet their individual needs.  Primarily funded through VT Housing & Conservation Board, additional funds from UVM Extension, USDA- Rural Development and an anonymous donor are supporting the business planning services.
Forages: Extension agronomy team members conduct educational programs and work directly with growers. This includes planting, fertilizers, manure, and pest management.

4-H Youth: There are active 4-H Club program throughout the state. Call your local Extension Office or visit

Greenhouse and Nursery: Extension’s specialist conducts research and writes about ornamental plants.

Livestock: Extension specialists work with sheep and beef producers, horse operations, and farmers who milk sheep or goats. They offer newsletters, conduct educational programs, and work directly with farmers.

Maple: Extension specialists partner with local sugarmakers to develop and provide annual, day-long educational programs in 3 locations for maple producers. Maple specialists also work one-on-one with producers on production and marketing of maple products.

Master Gardener Hotline: This hotline provides free information for home gardeners (not commercial growers). Volunteers are trained during the winter and then volunteer their time during the gardening season to share what they learned. Call 800-639-2230 or visit

New Farmer Project: The Project helps beginning farmers create personalized business development plans and provides them access to online and on-the-ground resources that will assist in their farm development.

Plant Diagnostic Clinic: This is a fee-based service at the Department of Plant and Soil Science that works with Vermont greenhouses, farms, and orchards by assisting in the identification and control of pests and diseases. They also coordinate the state’s Pesticide Education and Safety Program.

Soil Testing: UVM’s agricultural testing lab is geared for Vermont to test soils, field crops, home garden and lawn samples, and manure. Sample bags and mailers are available at local Extension offices. There are fees for these services.

Vegetables, Berries and Small Fruit: Extension’s berry and vegetable specialist works directly with growers, conducts on-farm research, and offers grower workshops and annual statewide meetings for growers.

Vermont Farm Show: UVM Extension collaborates with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture and others to organize this annual event in Barre the last week of January. Many equipment dealers, farm organizations, and others involved with agriculture have exhibits during the show. Several farm organizations plan their annual meetings to occur during the show. It is a great opportunity to make contacts and learn about Vermont agriculture. http://

The Vermont Pasture Network: A collaborative effort of the UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture and partnering organizations, the Network works cooperatively with farmers, other state and regional organizations, and agency personnel to promote and enhance successful grass-based livestock production throughout Vermont.

Women’s Agricultural Network (WAgN): The Network provides education and technical assistance geared to the needs of established, beginning and aspiring women farmers.

UVM Extension’s Values:
The values that guide Extension include:
• Deep respect for people -- those served and those within the organization.
• Dedication to the stewardship of Vermont’s natural resources and the working landscape.
• Commitment to high quality research and outreach education.
• Regard for the essential role of good communication -- personal and technical -- within Extension and with every audience served.
• Commitment to efficient use of Extension resources to meet the educational needs of Vermont citizens.

UVM Extension Offices and Programs

Bennington - 1-800-287-1552
Berlin - 1-866-860-1382
Brattleboro - 1-800-278-5480
Burlington - 1-800-571-0668
Guildhall - 1-800-639-1207
Middlebury - 1-800-956-1125
Morrisville - 1-866-260-5603
Newport - 1-866-260-5561
Randolph Center - 1-800-698-1581
Rutland - 1-800-281-6977
St. Albans - 1-800-639-2130
St. Johnsbury - 1-800-545-8920
Springfield - 1-800-278-5471
State Office- 1-866-622-2990*
Center for Sustainable Agriculture - 802-656-5459
Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NE SARE) - 802-656-0471
Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) - 1-877-337-5826*
(*Toll-free in Vermont)

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Last modified August 21 2012 04:56 PM