"So, You Want to Farm in Maine?" Course

A course to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to start, adapt, and maintain a profitable land-based business.

Woman farmer standing in feild with a full tray of fresh lettuceThis multi-session course is designed for people who want to start a profitable farm or expand their farm hobby to a profitable business.

Successful completion of this course qualifies participants for FSA Borrower Training Credit.

Course Information

Signup for our interest list to be notified when the course is offered next.

Due to high demand, this course is limited to individuals and farms who are currently farming, or planning to start a farm business in Maine within the next year.

Course schedule:

  • TBD

Course format:

Course fee: sliding scale, $50 – $150

Topics include:

  • Evaluating farm enterprises and enterprise budgets
  • Developing a farm business plan
  • Market research and customer surveys
  • Financial record keeping systems
  • Assessing and selecting land to purchase or lease
  • and more!

Digital Connectivity Options: If you have limited access to reliable internet or an internet connected device:

  • You may attend Zoom sessions at the Penobscot County Extension Office, 307 Maine Ave., Bangor. **You must indicate on the pre-course survey you receive after registering if you will be using this option.**
  • To complete coursework: you may contact your local Extension office to schedule a time to use their WiFi during office hours (in the building) or use WiFi anytime from the parking lot.
  • Contact the National Digital Equity Center for no cost or low cost tablets for Maine Residents who are of low to moderate income.

FSA Borrower Training Credit:

  • Participants who wish to receive FSA borrower training credit must attend all sessions live, complete all assignments successfully and attend a one-on-one meeting with the course organizers.

What is FSA Borrower Training Credit?

  • The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is a branch of the USDA that offers low interest loans for farms, crop insurance programs, and other financial services.  The FSA Farm Loan Division requires borrowers to complete borrower training, unless FSA waives the training requirement.  Completion of the “So, You Want to Farm in Maine” course is a method to fulfill the training requirement.  If you are not currently an FSA borrower and you apply for a loan with FSA, taking the course may allow you to have the training requirement waived.
  • Training credit does not expire. Make sure to retain a copy of the course completion certificate to provide evidence of training.

If you are a person with a disability and need an accommodation to participate in this program, or would like to discuss any other barriers to participation, please email extension.newfarmer@maine.edu or call Rebecca Long at 207.743.6329 or 800.287.1482 (in Maine) to discuss your needs. Receiving requests for accommodations at least 10 days before the program provides a reasonable amount of time to meet the request, however all requests will be considered.

Staff Resource:

So you want to offer a SYWTFIM course? Here are some key documents and plans to help you succeed.

Northeast DARE: Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education

This project was supported by Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education