New Farmer School

  • A fence in a field

Annual New Farmer School

The nuts and bolts of farming as a business in New Hampshire

Get a jump-start on growing your agricultural business with this intensive multi-session course! Each session will build upon knowledge gained in previous sessions and address a wide variety of topics that will be applicable to any new farmer.  This course is a great way to get up to speed quickly on the business and science of agriculture, network with other new farmers, and work closely with Extension staff as you develop your business and production ideas.

Course topics include soils and site assessment, food safety basics, enterprise selection, infrastructure considerations, marketing, insurance basics, and financial and production record-keeping. Participants will also learn about state agencies and other agriculture service providers in New Hampshire.  

There are eight total sessions, some on zoom and some in-person. Though in-person sessions are optional, we recommend attending, as they are engaging opportunities to network with other new farmers, and learn from experienced farmers in the state. 

Full attendance and completion of  coursework fulfills the borrower training requirement for USDA Farm Service Agency Loans. 

The registration cost for this course is $250 per person or $450 for two people from the same farm. 

Click here to register.

2024 Schedule

  • August 1:  In-person, 6 to 8 p.m.  | Merrimack County Cooperative Extension Office | Welcome and Introductions, Whole Farm Planning
  • August 15: In-person (Optional), 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. | Location TBD | Site and Soil Evaluation, Farm Infrastructure
  • August 29: Zoom Session, 6 to 7:30 p.m. | Production Records and Scheduling
  • September 12: Zoom Session, 6 to 7:30 p.m. | Enterprise Budgeting & Cash Flow Budgets
  • September 26: In-person (Optional), 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. | Food Safety and Insurance Basics
  • October 10: Zoom Session, 6 to 7:30 p.m. | Financial Statements
  • October 24: Zoom Session, 6 to 7:30 p.m. | Meet Agriculture Service Providers
  • November 7: In-person (Optional), 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. | Location TBD | Marketing and Sales

In-person sessions are optional but highly recommended. Class materials are available to participants who cannot attend in-person sessions.

Download the course expectations.


Contact your local UNH Extension Field Specialist:


  • Technology needed for this course includes internet access, the ability to participate in video conferencing sessions, word processing and spreadsheet software, and the ability to read pdf files.


  • A limited number of scholarships are available for those with financial need. 

For help with technology, scholarships, or other accommodations  please contact Will Hastings at least 10 business days prior to the course start date.