University of Vermont

Vermont New Farmer Project Vermont New Farmer Project
Untitled Document

Who Are Beginning Farmers?

The USDA defines beginning farmers as those with less than 10 years experience. These new farmers are a very diverse group. The Growing New Farmers project suggests they fall into the following catetories:

  • recruits (people with an aptitude or interest in farming who have not considered it as a career option);
  • explorers (actively researching farming as a career option);
  • aspiring farmers (committed to becoming farmers but haven’t started commercially);
  • startup farmers (in their first few years of commercial production, generally years 1-3);
  • re-strategizing farmers (in their first few years and now reassessing their operation, generally years 4-7); and
  • establishing farmers (stabilizing their production and marketing, generally years 8-10).

Programs and services are most effective when new farmers access services that are oriented to the stage of farm development they are currently in.

Last modified January 03 2011 11:51 AM