Farm Business Planning

If you've taken our Explore Farming course and decided that you are ready to start your own farm business, the Farm Business Planning Course is your next step.

In this course, you will learn how to:

  • Identify goals and timelines for your farm business
  • Identify your assets and the resources available to you to start a successful business
  • Select the products that you want to market
  • Research the markets in your area and how to promote your farm products
  • Develop the individual elements necessary for an effective farm business plan, including enterprise budgets, a crop plan, cash flows, and more
  • Weave those elements together into a cohesive business plan

We are planning to restructure our course offerings in the near future. If you'd like to join our farmer advisory committee to provide input to our program design, email us!


Course Details:

This course meets on Wednesday evenings for 8 weeks at the New Entry office in Lowell; every year we offer a fall session and a winter session. While the course content is the same between these two sessions, fall session attendees will have the priority over winter session attendees with respect to applications for space on our incubator farm for the following growing season. This is because the winter session’s end date is so close to the start of the growing season that it is often challenging to accommodate winter session attendees into the incubator farm’s limited space. Therefore, applicants with farm production experience who anticipate being ready to begin their business on New Entry's incubator farm sites during the next growing season should make every effort to attend the fall session.


Dates: We will offer the Farm Business Planning Course in a Fall Session (October 11 to December 13, 2017) and a Winter Session (January 10 to March 14, 2018). 

Cost: The standard course fee is $400, but you may be eligible for a tuition waiver of between $80 - $320, depending on your financial need. 


How to Apply

Before being admitted into the classroom Farm Business Planning Course, you must attend a session of Explore Farming.

(In some cases, e.g. if you already have significant farming experience, this prerequisite may be waived.)

Please contact Andrea Ranger, at (978) 654-6745 x 102 or, if you're interested in taking the Farm Business Planning Course!

Note: Due to limited staff capacity, we will not be offering an online version of the Farm Business Planning Course in 2017-18. However, if you are interested in this option, please email While we cannot promise to offer the online version every season, we would like to continue to gauge interest in this option.