Beginning Farmer Retreat

This annual event brings beginning farmers together to network, plan and discuss ways to improve their farms while helping to build a sense of community among this fast-growing farming demographic.

The first Next Generation Retreat took place in 2009, and it has been an annual event ever since. The two-day retreat has become a popular networking and business planning event that helps beginners share and learn from each other, as well as select experienced farmer speakers. Farm knowledge, food and friendship are freely shared. The retreat takes place each year between November and March and is open to all beginning farmers, regardless of age, enterprise or membership status.


13th Annual Beginning Farmer Retreat

Friday, Dec. 11  – Saturday, Dec. 12

Virtual Retreat

If you are starting or thinking about starting a farm, you should plan to attend this annual retreat. In addition to networking with other farmers, attendees will set goals and create action plans for achieving them. Programming will be offered for both aspiring and beginning farmers, with experts and peers facilitating the sessions and assisting with work time.

Following the retreat, attendees will choose one of two trainings to keep the momentum toward crafting an action plan.

Explore Farming Series

Aspiring farmers should look to the Explore Farming training to take their ideas and vision into reality. This series will feature three virtual workshops followed by opportunities to connect with landowners seeking new farmers for their farmland.

Thursday, Jan. 14

Place: Understand your land access needs and resources.

Thursday, Feb. 11

Product: Determine what you plan to produce and how to sell it.

Thursday, March 11

People: Build your network and increase your connections.

Establish Farming Series

Beginning farmers who have started to farm and are working to build their business plan should attend the Establish Farming series. Three virtual workshops will lead you through the process of using decision-making to build a farm plan. Between workshops, you will have activities to complete and opportunities to connect with mentors to further your understanding of your farm direction.

Tuesday, Jan. 5

Planning Your Enterprises: Take a deep dive into what enterprises you currently raise and ones you anticipate adding.

Tuesday, Feb. 2

Looking at the Whole Picture: Look at all the pieces of your plan together to make decisions towards your farm plan.

Tuesday, March 2

Crafting Your Farm Plan: Take all you have evaluated and put it into an action plan for the following year.


Registration has closed for the 2020 virtual beginning farmer retreat.

Contact Information

For more information about the Beginning Farmer Retreat, or to be added to our beginning farmer email list: contact Greg Padget, at or (515) 232-5661.