This page is regularly updated with opportunities of interest to our members. If you have something of interest to share with our members, please send the announcement to the VABF Administrator. There is no charge to VABF members.

Speak Up: Cover Crop Survey Seeks Farmer Participation

Cover crops can improve soil health, conserve resources and improve farm profitability. Now, your experience with what works and doesn’t work can help shape the future of cover crop initiatives nationwide. Farmers who plant cover crops, used to plant cover crops, or have never tried cover crops are all encouraged to take this short survey, now in its fifth year.

Take the survey now.

Thank you for choosing to share your perspective on cover crops.
The number of survey questions you will be asked depends on your farm(s), but you can expect the survey to take five to 10 minutes in most cases, or slightly longer for somebody who is growing a wide variety of crops and using cover crops in various ways. Data from these surveys are used to help guide policy, research, and education on cover crops nationwide.

See the results of the four previous survey years.

For educational materials on cover crops, visit SARE’s Cover Crops Topic Room.

Magilla Entertainment TV Casting Opportunity

 Now Casting: Farm Sisters!
Are you and your sister working on a family farm?
Perhaps you are inheriting a family business such as a ranch or a farm, and will be in charge for the very first time?
Are you both mothers who are raising your children AND taking on the responsibilities of the farm?
If this sounds like your family, we’d love to hear your story!

 To apply, email with your names, ages, phone number, a photo, and a brief paragraph about your new business venture!

Organic Seed Alliance – Seed Internship Program

This is your chance to participate in addressing one of the most pressing needs in organic agriculture – and to develop a new enterprise for your farm.

Organic Seed Alliance ( is seeking to match the organic seed growers of tomorrow with the experienced growers of today.

The Seed Internship Program combines online and classroom learning, farm-based independent study, and real-world experience through a diverse network of family farms. Hosted by Organic Seed Alliance and the Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA), the Seed Internship Program matches individuals who want to learn about seed production with experienced growers.

Learn more and apply today

Become an Intern
The Seed Internship Program matches interns with host farms that provide on-farm experience and formal training in seed production. The six-month internships offer interns:
        Online, class, and field-based education
         Independent studies on the host farm
        Experience with the organic seed trade

Become a Host
Are you experienced seed producer looking for interns? We need you to train the next generation of seed producers! Host farms receive:
        Assistance with matching the right intern for your farm
         Educational materials, webinars, and other support

Organic Certification Cost Share – now more readily accessible

Visit your Farm Services Agency (FSA) office anytime after March 20 to apply for the 2017 season

From Alyssa Charney, Policy Specialist at NSAC:
On December 21 of 2016, USDA announced the transfer of the organic certification cost share program to FSA.  National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) published a press release and blog, which you can read below, as well as USDA’s press release and the NOFA in public inspection (to be published in Federal Register tomorrow).
It’s important to note that State agencies now have the chance to “opt in” to directly administer the program as well.  In states where the department does opt in, applicants can either go through their county FSA office or State Department of Agriculture to enroll.  State Agencies that participate will continue to be able to contract with NGOs to deliver the program in a particular state.In order to ensure maximum options for producers, and in states were the program was run well, we strongly encourage folks to urge your States to continue to offer the program.FSA plans to partner and work closely with the states that choose to also administer the program.  They also will hold a stakeholder call, including NOC and NSAC members, early in the year, so we will keep you posted with details as soon as that gets scheduled.

 BRAVO 400 SPRAYER – $3,500

Tank Capacity: 400 Liters
Totally Rounded.
Not wetting the driver.
Low center of gravity = stability also in slope condition.
Tank content meter by large index and scale.
Optimal mixing of the spraying mixture. No sediment.
Total utilization of the tank content.
Fresh water tank with selector valve for a quick circuit flushing.
Chassis with impact-resistant belt, peripheral.
Steel keel for protection to ground.
Filling hole of tank on the left side.
Constant pressure regulator, micro adjusting.
Auto-filter: the pressure filter continuously flushed clear.
Never clogged. Never to be cleaned.
Anti-drift Propeller: Air Volume and Penetration Power adjusted in seconds.
Dosing Probe: Fast and safe. instantly sucking and mixing powders, granules and liquid chemicals.
The Air sprayers of BRAVO line are suitable for the spraying of the most various Trees Plantations: Vineyards, Orchards, Nurseries and Greenhouses, etc.


Haygrove High Tunnels – $25,000

1 acre- 9 Bays 28’x 250’

Smart door frames

PTO Removing Tool

Standing- Buyer must disassemble and haul


Farm position: Livestock manager and general homesteading

In association with the Harvest Table Restaurant and with the continuing Animal Vegetable Miracle project

The job has two main components:  roughly half of the time taking care of livestock, cattle and sheep, and the other half helping with more general homesteading type work: gardening, weeding, clearing new land, building projects, tractor work, etc.

The main role of the job is livestock management, with the person being primarily in charge of a small starter herd of Dexter cattle, which we currently building (we started with 6 heifers, now have 13, probably will double that number at a stable end point). The person will oversee management of about 40 acres and work toward improving the pastures, for which we do rotational grazing and grass finishing. The person would be in charge of all of these aspects– cattle routine health, rotations, pasture management, hay in winter, breeding protocol, etc. The ideal candidate would have experience with cattle and possibly rotational grazing systems. Secondarily, we have a herd of Icelandic sheep, and the person would be partially responsible for them as well. Third, we would like to have someone who would help with yard/garden/homestead duties for our home and garden, basic things like planting, weeding, harvesting, pruning, weed-eating, etc.

The job includes housing and household utilities. It would have to be someone who is independent, a self-starter, and enjoys solitude (the housing site is near the animals).

Interested candidates should send a letter of interest, resume and contacts for references to: Steven Hopp at:

Virginia Farm Business Development Grants

The Virginia Farm Business Development Program is now available.  Some of you might already be familiar with this new opportunity.  Please see below and attached for more information and how you can help share the word with the farmers you work with.  This program may help new farmers who have been in operation for at least 3 years.

The Governor’s press release is available here:

For more information, please visit the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website:

For more information, please have your farmers contact:

Maggie Beal Longest
Coordinator, Farm Business Development Program
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
(804) 786-1241

Help in a statewide effort to make nutrient management planning more useful to farmers throughout Virginia!

The Virginia Nutrient Management Leadership Team, which is a collaborative effort comprised of 18 agricultural and conservation organizations and state agencies, is reaching out to farmers and ag industry professionals as part of a periodic assessment, to learn about challenges and opportunities relating to nutrient management plan development and implementation.

While Virginia farmers use and implement nutrient management plans to improve yields and reduce input costs, we are seeking to further expand farmer participation. Our goal is to understand the barriers to participation in nutrient management planning, and find ways to make it more useful to farmers without additional regulations.

Nutrient management plans recommend fertilizer or manure application rates designed to achieve crop production yield goals while at the same time minimizing fertilizer inputs and costs.   According to Kristen Evans, with Sustainable Chesapeake,

“Nutrient management plans help farmers maximize their return on fertilizer investments – and in doing so, they also protect water quality, as fertilizer applied in excess of crop requirements can be lost to air and water resources.  Because nutrient management plans support agricultural production, farm profits, and water quality, they are a high priority conservation practice.”

Darryl Glover is with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, which oversees the Commonwealth’s nutrient management planning program. He stated that:

“DCR hopes the results of the assessments will provide information that will help us find ways to encourage more farmers to obtain nutrient management plans.” 

Wilmer Stoneman with the Virginia Farm Bureau, also noted that:

 “it is important to do a periodic check-up of Virginia’s nutrient management program.”

We very much need you to weigh in, sharing your experience, ideas and suggestions. We would be extremely grateful if you would please complete the assessment, either in hardcopy or online.  If you can, please help us reach as many people in Virginia’s ag community by sharing this with your colleagues and constituencies, now through mid-February.

Results of the assessment will be released in late Spring 2017.

Participate now!

Virginia Nutrient Management Team Members Include:

  • Chesapeake Bay Foundation
  • Headwaters LLC
  • James River Association
  • James Riverkeeper
  • Sustainable Chesapeake
  • University of Virginia
  • Virginia Agribusiness Council
  • Virginia Association of Conservation Districts
  • Virginia Biosolids Council
  • Virginia Cattlemen’s Association
  • Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service
  • Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreatio
  • Virginia Department of Environmental Qualit
  • Virginia Farm Bureau
  • Virginia Grain Producers Association
  • Virginia Poultry Federation
  • Virginia Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Virginia State Dairymen’s Association
  • Virginia Tech

The Virginia Environmental Endowment is providing funding for this important effort through a grant to Sustainable Chesapeake.

For more information:  Contact Kristen Hughes Evans, Executive Director, Sustainable Chesapeake at or 415-730-7503.

Farm Operations Manager – Kretschmann Organic Farm in Rochester, PA

Interviewing now in January; plan to fill position in February 2017

Pennsylvania organic farmer Don Kretschmann is seeking to hire a Farm Operations Manager to help him and his family run their mid-size organic vegetable and fruit farm in Rochester, PA, about an hour from Pittsburg.  Duties include planning and helping to manage soil fertility, crop production, and packing house for a large CSA.

For more information, visit and click on “Farm Operations Manager” near bottom of the web page for the job description.

Radical Roots Farm is currently accepting apprentice applications for the 2017 season

If you are serious about taking your farming to the next level, please consider this amazing opportunity.

Radical Roots Farm grows high quality, certified organic vegetables and herbs in a sustainable way.

The Radical Roots Farm Apprenticeship is an exchange of time and learning between experienced and new farmers.  Apprentices’ learn the art and craft of organic farming through hard work in the fields, observation of successful farm ecosystems and participating in a mentoring relationship with experienced farmers.  This immersion into all aspects of organic vegetable production gives new farmers valuable skills and experience to begin their career in organic agriculture.  Whether they start their own farm or go on to work in public gardens, landscaping, school gardens or farm to table restaurants, apprentices gain a firm foundation and confidence to succeed.

Goals of the Apprenticeship

  • To share the skills involved in organic farming and the tools of the trade.
  • To offer apprentices an example of a successful organic farm so that they can learn the cycles of the growing season.
  • To give apprentices first hand working knowledge with specific crops, so that they can have a solid foundation of farming experience.
  • To support the hands on learning that comes through hard work in the fields with educational resources, garden reading, classes and field trips.

To apply, check out our website.

The Catawba Sustainability Center is now accepting applications for its 2017 Small Farm Incubator program!

Download the program overview and application.

The Catawba Sustainability Center’s Small Farm Incubator Plots program aims to incubate and grow viable, independent farm businesses and to serve as a model new-farmer program by providing access to land and resources in a low-risk environment.

Program Goals

  • Accommodate up to 8 new growers and small farms
  • Build infrastructure necessary to fulfill mission and serve as a model agricultural development organization
  • Provide educational opportunities and skills training
  • Support the local economy and local food system

The Catawba Sustainability Center (CSC) is establishing “Land-Use Agreements” with new and established farm businesses to utilize a portion of designated farmland to grow produce. The Center is committed to developing the incubator program, facilitating learning opportunities, and ensuring that land is available annually for new participants. All participants must follow the CSC’s Land Use Protocol and new farms must participate in one of the Catawba Sustainability Center’s training programs.

For questions, please contact:

Adam Taylor
Catawba Sustainability Center Manager

Beginning Farmer webinars – input wanted

If you have a topic you would like to speak about, know someone who may want to speak in a webinar, or just have a topic you want someone to cover, please feel free to email me with anything you wish. Some details about our webinars are included below:

  • Use the WebEx program through Virginia Tech
  • Speakers only need a working computer/internet connection and a reliable phone line (do not need to travel to Virginia Tech)
  • Presentations are given through a “screen share” option to share powerpoints, documents, pictures, and more
  • Aim for 45 minutes of material followed by a 15 minute Q&A session
  • Typically offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays around lunch time

We need suggestions from you all to keep these webinars interesting and relevant to beginning farmers and ranchers across Virginia. I look forward to hearing the ideas you all send my way!


Allyssa Mark
Program Associate

Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Program


Farmer Incubator Program at Bottle Tree Farm LLC

(Waverly, VA)

Bottle Tree Farm LLC, an 18+ acre farm on the edge of Waverly Virginia, 23890, is looking to assist young and beginning farmers to establish their own business growing and selling seasonal produce and related agricultural products. My wife and I are in search of a few (2-4+) qualified candidates to participate in our Farmer Incubator Program.

The two of us make use of only a small fraction of the farm and have always wanted to further opportunities for young and beginning farmers. To that end, we are willing to share our investment in land, equipment and other resources with a small number of prospects that have either classroom and/or field experience and who are looking to start their own agricultural related business.

We are looking for sustainable farmers willing to invest in the soil and land. Growing seasonal produce crops for direct to consumer marketing is likely the best use of this land. Livestock and fowl are logical extensions to add to the  rotation of crops, for those willing to take on this responsibility.

Our Farm is conveniently located on US460 within 50-60 miles of 3 major metropolitan centers; 1) Richmond, Petersburg, Hopewell; 2) Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach and 3) Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton. Great marketing opportunities and potential exist for those willing to hustle.

There is a cottage on the farm and other affordable housing available nearby. Currently (2017) cottage is occupied If interested, please send letter of introduction to: Include summary of experience and resources you have and the type of business you are hoping to establish as well as any initial questions that you may have. Please include your current working business plan.

Thank you for your interest in this opportunity.
Bob Richardson

Riverstone Organic Farm in Floyd is seeking a part-time employee to help sell our products at farmers markets

$10-12.00/hr. Friday afternoon and Saturday morning schedule. Other opportunities at the farm may be also be possible. Good customer service skills required. Call 540-0230-0020, or email