Agricultural Business Training Program (ABTP)

Offers courses, trainings, workshops and technical assistance to Massachusetts farmers.

MDAR’s Agricultural Business Training Program offers two courses for Massachusetts agricultural enterprises:

  1. Exploring the Small Farm Dream – 5-session course, typically offered on weekday evenings, using curriculum and workbook developed by the New England Small Farm Institute.  For those who are thinking about or in the planning stages of a starting their own farm, including those who are expanding a hobby to an income-generating scale.  This course offers guidance and resources to help make informed decisions about what’s involved with owning your own farm so you can decide whether or not to take the plunge - and how to proceed in the first stages.  Cost per enterprise - $100
  1. Tilling the Soil of Opportunity – 10-session course, typically offered on weekday evenings, based on NXLEVEL Guide for Agricultural Entrepreneurs.  For those already operating a commercial, income generating agricultural enterprise and in need of a comprehensive business plan. This in-depth course offers a chance to assess, plan ahead, set goals for expansion, or clarify transfer/succession. The course draws on peer experience, instructor knowledge, and guest speakers. Meets USDA/FSA certification for “Borrower Training”.  Cost per enterprise - $200.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Applications for both courses are accepted on a rolling basis until a course is filled.  Courses offered throughout the state based on interest and dependent upon funding each year.

Contact:  413-548-1904


MDAR’s Agricultural Business Training Program also offers occasional trainings, workshops and technical assistance to respond to identified needs of Massachusetts farmers.  Recent workshops have included:

  • ​​​​​​​Massachusetts Farm Succession School – Winter 2018; in partnership with Land for Good, additional professional technical assistance provided to participating Massachusetts farm families by MDAR’s Agricultural Business Training Program. View flyer.
  • Applying Lean Principles to Farm Operations, Nov 2017; hosted by Outlook Farm in Westhampton, presenter Scott Morrison In partnership with Franklin County Community Development Corporation, PVGrows Investment Fund, and Communities Involved in Sustaining Agriculture.
  • Attracting Loyal Customers Through Online Marketing & Social Media, offered to TTS participants in May 2016; presenter Myrna Greenfield, Good Egg Marketing.


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