Farm Start-Up

So you want to be a farmer? There are many factors that go into farming, and it requires multiple skill sets: business planning, financial management, marketing, and production skills. A farm starts with a business plan and an enterprise that works well with your soil and land’s capabilities.  

The USDA has designated a beginning farmer as “those who have been operating a farm or ranch for less than 10 years—includes people who are merely considering farming as a career, those in the early years of farming, and growers who are fine-tuning a well-established farm business.”  

Regardless of where you fall along this continuum, you’ve come to the right place. The publications, farm start-up tutorials, and success stories on this page will help you find an internship program, learn practical farming skills, evaluate farmland, choose a farming enterprise or business structure, develop a marketing plan, write a business plan, and get the financing you need.  

With so many beginning farmer resources out there, what sets ATTRA apart? Many of our specialists are farmers and work with farmers to provide practical, field-tested information for you. We also provide one-on-one technical assistance as you get started and through the evolution of your farm.  

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ATTRA’s Farm Start-Up Resources

tractor in field
Armed to Farm alumni, with NCAT's Margo Hale and Andy Pressman
group of women walking behind flock of sheep down a lane under trees
The three main SIFT hoop houses
Two farm workers harvesting herbs
Dairy cattle Hostetler Dairy
A man working in the soilCanva Pro
Steven Nuñez