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
Conferences, Field Days and Classes
High Tunnels/Season Extension
Union County Beekeepers Association – Bee School
Beekeepers Education and Engagement System – NCSU Apiculture Program
Resources 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).
Growing Small Farms – Growing Small Farms is a website dedicated to providing educational materials as well as resources for Small Farmers.
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.
AgPlan – Center for Farm Financial Management – AgPlan is powerful website developed to help rural businesses develop a business plan. AgPlan is free of charge for anyone to use individually or in educational programs. AgPlan was developed by the Center for Farm Financial Management at the University of Minnesota.
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.
Grant and Cost Share Opportunities
NC Farm Link – NC FarmLink is a program of NC State Extension that connects farmers, landowners, and service providers across North Carolina, helping to grow the state’s agriculture industry. NC FarmLink maintains databases of available farmland and farmers looking for land, and works with landowners and farmers to ensure an appropriate and lasting match is made.
Lomax Research and Education Farm – Through our Student Outdoor Immersive Learning at Lomax (SOILLS) program, we provide hands learning opportunities to college students, STEM activities to K-12 and high school students, business incubation to Farmers-in-Training (FiTs), as well as workshops for farmers and the general public.
Farm Tool Rental Programs
Union County Soil and Water Seed Drill Rental Program – Other counties may have similar programs.
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.
N.C Cooperative Extension -Union County Center Livestock Page – The Livestock Program offers assistance, education, and resources for livestock producers in Union County. Topics covered include cattle, equine, and small ruminants, as well as forage and pastures. On this page you will find resources and information for livestock producers, covering production, marketing, regulations, etc. as well as upcoming events.
Fruit & Nuts
Mushrooms and Other Specialty Crops
Additional Content Coming Soon