The Small Farm Outreach Program provides a wide range of opportunities for small, limited-resource and beginning farmers and U.S. military veterans who want to achieve profitability through successful growing and marketing strategies. Our aim is to help you develop and improve farm management practices for a thriving operation that can be sustained for years to come.

Small Farm Outreach Program workshops and events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Also, some programs have limited registration. SIGN UP TODAY!


May 17: QUICKBOOKS TUTORIAL, VSU Campus, Petersburg, VA

May 17: STRIKEFORCE, Greenville County

May 18: USDA GRANT WRITING, VSU Campus, Petersburg, VA

May 23: ESTATE PLANNING & FARM TRANSITION, Caroline County Community Center

Sharing Knowledge & Building Community: An educational series for beginning farmers and ranchers

VA Beginning Farmer & Rancher Series at the Catawba Sustainability Center
The Catawba Sustainability Center
Catawba, VA

• May 4th: Intro, Assess the need/desire of the audience, Intro to Whole Farm Planning, Tour of CSC

• June 1st: Follow-up on Intro to Whole Farm Planning. Share other resources. Demonstration of production

• July 15th: (Saturday – ALL DAY Farm Tour in the Roanoke Area)

• Aug 3rd: Business Planning, Marketing

• Sept 7th: Follow-up with Series, Ask What’s Next… How to foster the network?

Cost: $25


Email Kelli Scott at kescott1@vt.edu with any questions

Spring Plant Sale and Event for Gardeners

Copper Hill, VA

May 6 and 7, 11 am – 3 pm both days

Patchwork Farm (216 Conner Lane, Copper Hill, VA, in Floyd, County, near mile marker 147 on Blue Ridge Parkway) is hosting a weekend spring plant sale, farm demos, and kids’ activities on Saturday-Sunday, May 6 and 7, from 11 am until 3 pm each day.

Explore the farm
Free Expert Organic Gardening Advice from your farmers (bring your list of questions!)
Regional and seasonally suitable plants
Lots of heirloom tomatoes!
Organic Seeds
Annuals and Perennials

Farm and Garden Demos on topics like:
Hand Tools (and how to use them)
Basics of Drip irrigation
Small Farm tool Demo- Heard of a Paper Pot transplanter or a caterpillar tunnel?
Tips for Transplanting
Starting Seeds in Soil Blocks
Short Farm Tours

Kids Activities include:
Bug Identification
Gourd Decorating
Kids seed starting

This event is free and open to the public.


Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Program promoted Events & Webinars

Please note that not all of the events announced in this list are by the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Program

May 9: USDA Programs Information Session (South Hill, VA): Many services exist on the federal, state and local level to assist small farmers and ranchers. However, often those who are new to farming and ranching are lost in a maze of government alphabet soup as they try to access these services. This workshop is designed to help small farmers learn how to take advantage of these valuable programs and provide them with critical information vital to the success of their farming or ranching enterprise.

May 9: Pest Management from an Ecological Framework (Webinar)This webinar will focus on ecological management of agricultural pests (insects and slugs); and, it will emphasize the importance of pairing soil health practices with Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to ensure that gains in soil health are not degraded by unnecessary pesticide use.

May 16: Southside Sustainable Ag Tour (Brunswick, Mecklenburg, & Halifax Counties)

May 17: Quickbooks Workshop (Petersburg, VA): QuickBooks is a software program that can help you do everyday financial tasks quickly. Create invoices and track sales, stay on top of your expenses, and gain insights into your business.

May 17: USDA NRCS Strikeforce Coutny Workshop Series (Greensville): Small Farm Outreach Agents and representatives from USDA agencies including the Natural Resource and Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) will host a local demonstration workshop that provides information on available NRCS programs and opportunities as well as a variety on-site educational demonstrations on topics including drip irrigation, high tunnel production, no-till vs. conventional farming, and pasture grazing

May 17: Weather Variability and Its Impacts on Forest Health (Webinar)This webinar will discuss the impact weather and climate have on forest health and productivity. We will discuss short- and long-term impacts of droughts, floods, winds, and ice on insect and fungal populations and damage in southern forests.

May 18: Grant Writing Workshop (Petersburg, VA): This introductory workshop will help you become familiar with how to find, prepare and write a grant proposal to help provide financial resources for your project.

May 18: Start a Sheep and Goat Meat Enterprise (Petersburg, VA): Are you interested in raising your own sheep or goats? Join us at Virginia State University for a class on starting out with small ruminants. Sheep and goats can be raised to provide meat, milk, and fiber.  They can also be raised for 4-H projects, clearing brush from an area or simply as pets.  Whatever your interest, this class covers all the basics you need to start your enterprise.

May 23: Farm Transition & Estate Planning Workshop (Woodford, VA): This workshop will provide information and guidance on the decisions you can make today to help you plan and achieve financial and personal goals for the future!

May 24: Nutrient Management Planning and Bay Boat Tour (Virginia Beach, VA)

May 25: Cover Crops, Grow Your Own Nutrients (Warrenton, VA)

BFRDP/Farmer Veteran Coalition Webinar

The BFRDP Clearinghouse will be hosting their next webinar on Thursday, May 11th, 2017 at 2pm Eastern time.

In this webinar, we’ll hear from the Farmer Veteran Coalition who has many programs for veterans who are involved with agriculture.
The webinar is scheduled for Thursday, May 11th at 2pm Eastern time.

You can attend the webinar by clicking on the following link:

Virginia Small Grain Field Day

Thursday, May 18, 2017
Featherstone Farm Seed – Amelia, VA

The Virginia Grain Producers Association, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Small Grains Checkoff Board and Featherstone Farm Seed are proud to host the 2017 Virginia Small Grains Field Day. This year’s field day will be held at Featherstone Farm Seed in Amelia, Virginia. Featherstone Farm has been farmed by the Whittington family since the 1920s. Today Featherstone is a certified agricultural seed business and enjoys a newly renovated seed plant. Featherstone’s diversity and innovation makes it the perfect location for the Field Day.

The event will include field plot tours of wheat varieties, small grain forage variety evaluation, malting barley varieties and management, weed control in small grains, small grain disease management, and small grain insect pest management. We will have an exciting program of speakers featuring updates from Virginia’s agriculture leaders; a presentation from Proximity Malt on their new facility and grain buying plans; a presentation on bread wheat and hulless barley opportunities, all followed by a great meal with producers and industry members.

Thanks to our sponsors and the Virginia Small Grains Board, this is a free event for attendees.

Schedule at a Glance

7:30 am Registration & Exhibits Opens at the AREC

8:20 am Welcome & Introductions

8:30 am Field Tours Start

11:00 am Program & Speakers

-Land Grant University Updates

-Proximity Malt: Barley for the Brewing Industry

-Bread Wheat & Hulless Barley Opportunities

12:00 pm Barbecue Luncheon

Field Plot Tour Includes:

-Wheat Varieties

-Small Grain Forage Variety Evaluation

-Malting Barley Varieties and Management

-Weed Control in Small Grains

-Small Grain Disease Management

-Small Grain Insect Pest Management

Grow Your Own Nutrients Workshop

May 25, 2017, 6 PM – 8 PM

Fauquier Education Farm, Warrenton, VA

Your garden habits should build your soil nutrients and support healthy soil biodiversity. Come join us at the Education Farm as we explore using Cover Crops to increase soil health and produce higher yields of cash crops. We will discuss what types of cover crops you might grow, when to plant them, and what benefits you should expect. We will review our on-going no-till demonstrations.

No registration required
Fauquier Education Farm
8428 Meetze Rd. Warrenton

For more information
540 336 4338

Permaculture Design Certification Course

May 27th – June 11th

Based on the Permaculture Ethics and Principles: Earth Care, People Care, & Fair Share, developed in the 70’s by Bill Mollison & David Holmgren, this course will teach you how to use design to better enable you to turn your environment into a sustainable and regenerative system. You will learn to utilize many strategies and choose which techniques to use, in order to create a world of abundance for you and those around you.

This workshop will involve group work with students completing a real life design project on a site near the venue. Once completion of the 72 hour Permaculture Design Course theoretical and practical knowledge of Permaculture will be gained and at the end of the workshop participants will receive a Certificate that will enable the participant to practice as a Permaculture practitioner.


  • Rico Zook
  • Koreen Brennan
  • Andrew Millison

We offer 2 camping locations, both with hot showers. Limited indoor accommodations are available for an extra fee.

Healthy Food:
A healthy organic breakfast, lunch and dinner are included the cost of the course. Vegan, vegetarian and carnivore options will be available.

Fee Structure:
General Fee *includes accommodation and food*:
Early Bird: prior to April 18 $1095
Full Price: $1295

For More Information: http://www.cricketscove.net/permaculture-design-certification/

Contact: Marianne@TwigsandBerries.com

To learn about PDI go to www.permacultureintl.com