Beginner Farmer Training Program

Our Beginner Farmer Training Program (BFTP) offers a 12-month immersive training experience that combines a comprehensive classroom curriculum with hands-on learning at some of the region’s leading sustainable farms. Applications for the next calendar year are open August 15th – October 15th.

  • We offer three training levels, designed to meet the specific needs of beginning farmers at different stages in their careers.
  • All three levels of the BFTP are FREE and trainees receive a host of benefits: annual FHCASA membership, free admission to our popular winter conference and year-round field days.
  • Join a diverse, inclusive network of new and experienced farmers! We are committed to building a safe, supportive network for all trainees, free from discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, religion, veteran status, military obligations, or marital status.
  • This is a region-wide program, open to beginning farmers in  MD, VA, DE—including the Delmarva Peninsula—and DC, WV, and PA.  We offer farmer-to-farmer training opportunities throughout the Chesapeake region, and classroom requirements may be completed in-person or online.
  • We offer training in diverse operation types, including: vegetables, fruit, cut flowers, herbs, and livestock at urban, peri-urban, and rural farm settings.
  • The program is also designed with built-in scheduling flexibility to allow new farmers to further their training while maintaining their own farms or other work.
  • Accessibility: we are committed to making the BFTP accessible to all aspiring farmers. For classroom curriculum, there are both in-person and online options.  For on-farm events, if a given site does not meet a trainee’s access needs, we will work together to find an alternate option.  We want to make this work!  Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.

TRAINING FARMS

Meet a few of our BFTP Training Farms. These farmers provide on-farm learning opportunities for our trainees. If you are interested in becoming a training farm, please review our BFTP Trainer Requirements and contact BFTP Director, Amyrose Foll, at: amyrose@futureharvest.org for an application.

SEE ALL TRAINING FARMS

LEVEL 3 CONSULTANTS

Meet our Beginner Farmer Training Program Director

Amyrose Foll’s strong background in healthcare and her native heritage (Penobscot/Abenaki) is what prompted her to begin advocating for food sovereignty, security, and preservation of indigenous food culture through seed saving & distribution.

“Being a part of this team is an incredible opportunity to have a lasting impact on the future of our foodshed. I’m humbled to share in the responsibility of Future Harvest’s mission in creating a legacy of sustainable farming that ensures social equity, while promoting environmental justice in our region. The meaningful work we are doing stands as an example to the wider agricultural community across the country of what can be accomplished when we work together to raise the standard of agricultural advocacy.”

Amyrose will soon be launching our first-ever Agricultural Leadership Program for Veterans and Farmers of Color, to offer leadership skill training for those who want to champion policies and lead others to advance minority farmer access to land and resources. Stay tuned for more news about this exciting initiative!

Get involved in the BFTP

Whether you are just beginning your journey into farming or are an established farmer interested in becoming a mentor, Future Harvest is here to help you connect to one another. We accept training farms and consultants on a rolling basis. The formal, year-long programming for Levels 1, 2, and 3 runs January – December of the calendar year. Applications for the year ahead are open and accepted August 15th – October 15th. If you’d like to talk about the program, please contact Amyrose Foll at amyrose@futureharvest.org

Want to learn a bit more about the BFTP and how it can help you start your own farm journey? Check out this webinar on Following Your Farm Dreams, from the Chesapeake Foodshed Network, featuring former BFTP Director Sarah Sohn and Delmarva Program Manager Niamh Shortt.

ABOUT FUTURE HARVEST

Building a sustainable foodshed from farm and fishery to table