tax return, eye glasses, calculator

For many farmers, producing great food is less difficult than managing the business.

Starting A Farm Business

    For many farmers, producing great food is not the hardest part of maintaining a viable farm, it’s managing the business and marketing products in order to make money. Our staff can help your farm to:

    • Plan for profit using a business and marketing plan
    • Navigate state and federal regulations (including processing, organic)
    • Apply for on-farm research and marketing grants

    The Guide to Farming in NYS (at left) contains fact sheets on everything from finding land to financing an operation, regulations on marketing and processing, and tax benefits of farming.

    Marketing the farm and farm products is closely linked to business success. Visit our Farm Marketing pages for more information on how we help farms market themselves and their products.


    Where to Begin 

    Considerations in Starting A Farm Business provides a series of questions to be answered before one starts the farming operation. These questions help to frame the business.

    Business Planning 

    Business planning is a tool to help map and test the feasibility of a farm business startup. It is a dynamic tool that changes through time as the business changes due to internal and external pressure. It allows one to test “what if” scenarios.

    Evaluating Soils 

    Understanding your soil and improving your soil is vital as a beginning farmer.  We can help you to understand many characteristics of your soil, guide you in soil testing, and help you decide what amendments are best for your farm.  We can even help you look at soils of a farm that you are thinking of buying!  Call 607-687-4020 to get started on your soil education.

    Northeast Beginning Farmers Project 

    The Northeast Beginning Farmers Project is housed at the Cornell Small Farms Program. The program has an extensive website of resources useful to people who want to start a farm. The Program hosts a series of online courses and events useful to beginning and small farmers.

    Last updated July 26, 2019