Are you looking for in-depth education on topics related to sustainable agriculture?
You've come to the right place! We've put together the following online courses that allow you to delve more deeply into these topics through self-guided and comprehensive multi-lesson tutorials. These courses are designed so that you can take them at your own pace, and they include calculators, worksheets, resource lists, and other tools that you can download and print as you go. Successful case studies are also featured.
Have you heard that changing the way you manage your grazing animals can change the condition of your land and finances for the better? Interested in finding out more about how managing your livestock can improve your soil health, your pasture condition and your bottom line? This tutorial features sessions taught by National Center for Appropriate Technology specialists who are also livestock producers. They share years of experience managing their own pastures to inspire you to start wherever you are and build or refine your own managed grazing systems. Detailed presentations and real-world examples will get you on the road to managed grazing. Go →
When irrigation is appropriate to its location and circumstances, it can be an essential element of farm sustainability. Sustainable irrigation includes taking good care of the soil and water source, constantly improving soil health, being efficient in your use of water and energy, treating neighbors and other water users fairly, and keeping costs down so you can be profitable and stay in farming for the long haul. Aimed at beginning farmers with little or no experience, this course begins at square one and demystifies the irrigation process: providing a friendly introduction to equipment, terminology, and safety precautions. Unlike other irrigation courses that take a more industrial or engineering approach, this one maintains a strong focus on sustainability throughout. Go →
Scaling up for regional markets often refers to an increase in the amount of land in production, herd size, enterprises, or markets. Scaling up can also refer to improving current production systems in order to increase sales. In either case, there are many risks and challenges associated in scaling up, especially as a farmer prepares to gain access in to the wholesale market. This tutorial provides lessons and information for farmers who have success in smaller and more direct marketing channels and who are interested in expanding their operations to meet a growing demand for local food. Go →
This tutorial focuses on giving you tools to implement ecologically-based pest management strategies. The five lessons in this tutorial provide information on what ecological pest management is, how to get started, how to implement preventive strategies, biological controls, and how to use NCAT and ATTRA resources. There are also resources to help you develop your own ecological pest management strategy for your farm. Go →
Beginning Farmer Tutorials
Are you a beginning farmer? Do you want to expand your markets? Do you want to add sheep, goats, or poultry to your operation? This "beginner" online course will help you develop a basic business and marketing plan for your operation, and provide you with information and worksheets to help you meet your farm goals. There's lots of information about small livestock production, too. Most information is available in English and Spanish. The resources from this project were developed with funding from USDA and provide information in visual and audio formats.
If you are thinking about farming as a career you've come to the right place. The eight lessons in this course will guide you through the process of imagining and planning a successful farming enterprise. You'll also hear from several farmers who have made their dreams a reality.