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Small Farms

The Small Farms Program is centered around building capacity for new and beginning farmers as well as established operations. On this page, you will find resources related to production and marketing for farms growing and selling in the local food system.

Timely Topics for Small Farms 

Check the timely topics page periodically for new postings.

Conferences, Field Days and Classes

Sustainable Agriculture

NC Agritunity (2/11/2021)

CFSA Sustainable Agriculture Conference


Carolina Meat Conference

Honey Bees

Beekeepers Education and Engagement System – NCSU Apiculture Program

BEES Academy – NCSU Apiculture Program + N.C. Cooperative Extension County Centers

Websites and Guides

New and Beginning Farmers

Growing Your Local Food Business in North Carolina, A Guide to Laws and Regulations – Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, A guide written for beginning and established farmers to help them understand the many federal and state laws and regulations that govern the production and sale of local foods. Specific sections provide outline requirements for farm-scale production and sale of meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, raw fruits & vegetables, honey, and low-risk manufactured foods (e.g., pickles and jams).

N.C. Cooperative Extension New and Beginning Farmer Website – There is growing interest in the exploration of farming as a new career in North Carolina and around the country. Much, though not all, of that interest stems from women and men of all ages that have no farming experience, but also captures farmers with up to ten years of experience who are working to develop their business. This page is a starting point, since aspiring farmers can glean resources and knowledge from other areas of this web portal.

What Do I Do With My Land Infographic – Niche Meat – This guide is designed to help new farmers who are interested in getting involved in meat production. The goal is to provide information regarding land size, costs, equipment requirements, and other factors that can influence a farmer ‘s choice in livestock species and operation type. For further resources and guidance contact your local Extension Agent.

Meat Production

NC Choices – NC Choices, an initiative of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems in collaboration with N.C. Cooperative Extension, promotes sustainable food systems through the advancement of the local, niche, and pasture-based meat supply chain in North Carolina. NC Choices provides information, technical assistance, educational programming, and networking opportunities for farmers, extension agents, meat processors, buyers, distributors, and consumers.

Fruit & Nuts

Tree Fruit

North Carolina Production Guide for Smaller Orchard Plantings


NCSU Strawberry Growers Portal


NCSU Blueberry Portal


NCSU Blackberry & Raspberry Portal


Pecan Tree Selection

Integrated Pest Management for Pecans in NC


NCAT ATTRA Market Gardening: A Start Up Guide

NCSU Fresh Produce Safety

Mushrooms and Other Specialty Crops

NCSU New Crops and Organics Portal

NCAT ATTRA, Mushroom Cultivation and Marketing

Fresh Produce Safety for Mushrooms

Honey Bees

NCSU Apiculture Program Homepage

Union County Beekeepers Association

Additional Content Coming Soon