New Farmer U

Push your farm business to the next level!

Oct. 29 & 30, 2021

Camp One Heartland
Willow River, MN

Includes supper & onsite lodging Friday night, Saturday breakfast & lunch, + all workshops


New Farmer U covers farm financial and business management for intermediate beginning farmers—3-6 years of farming experience—or anyone who is ready to plan for future success. See the full program schedule below.

We will follow state and local COVID recommendations at the time of the event.
Space could be limited. Register today to reserve your place!


Interpretation available. See the registration form, or contact Sarah at 888-90-MOSES, ext. 703.


Need help paying for this training? We have scholarships to reduce the cost to $15.

Apply for a Scholarship

Deadline is Aug. 27.


Half-Day Workshop

Add on our popular 4-hour workshop based on the book Fearless Farm Finances, published by MOSES.

With author Paul Dietmann of Compeer Financial

Just $25
Includes a copy of the book!

Learn basic farm financial management, including how to:

  • Complete your Schedule F
  • Draft a balance sheet
  • Create enterprise budgets
  • Analyze your profits

Take the workshop on its own or add it to your New Farmer U experience. Use the registration button above.


New Farmer U Schedule:

Friday, Oct. 29
12:30-4:30 p.m.
Optional Fearless Farm Finances workshop, $25, includes a copy of the book ($20 value)
6 p.m.
Welcome to New Farmer U
Wood-fired pizza and bonfire

Saturday, Oct. 30
8:15 a.m. -4:30 p.m.
Breakfast, lunch, and three workshop sessions
Farmer Panel: Established farmers discuss Growth, Profitability, Balance & Success: What do these benchmarks mean and how have you measured and achieved them?



* indicates workshop will include preliminary work to give you more from the class

Developing Wholesale Markets and Institutional Sales
Join a panel of farmers and wholesale buyers to learn how they formed and maintained their relationships and what it takes to sell wholesale.

* Income Diversification: Reigning it in

Use enterprise budgets to evaluate income streams to decide what’s working and what isn’t, and where things can be tightened up.
Presented by Paul Dietmann from Compeer Financial

Land Access and Financing
Land Access Navigators from Renewing the Countryside discuss land access and financing, and the steps to move from leased to purchased land.

Online Marketing
Learn how to best structure your online presence and build a system that fits your schedule, including organizing images and managing time spent cultivating your online presence.

Farm Employment Law
Rachel Armstrong of Farm Commons explains how to build legal resilience when it comes to your employees, interns, volunteers, or anyone else who helps out on the farm

* Whole Farm Recordkeeping
Learn how to integrate recordkeeping for food safety, certification, traceability, and production costs. Join David Van Eeckhout from The Good Acre to build a robust record-keeping system for your farm.

Each participant will be able to attend 3 workshops and the farmer panel.



Camp One Heartland offers 3 lodging options that are included with your registration.

1. Group rooms in the retreat center with private bathrooms for 4-6 people
2. Rustic, heated, cabins for 4-6 with shared shower facilities nearby
3. Tent camping (bring your own)


If you prefer not to share a lodging space, there are hotels nearby:

Moose Lake Lodge, Moose Lake (15-minute drive north)
Discounted NFU rate: $119.99/night plus taxes and fees
Book by phone, mention New Farmer U when making reservations for discount.

America’s Quality Inn & Suites, Finlayson (15-minute drive south)

Note: We can help subsidize the cost of a hotel. If you submit your receipt for a hotel, you can receive a $50 stipend, depending on demand.

FFF sign

Check back for information about New Farmer U Illinois in 2022 and Wisconsin in 2023!


Contact Sarah Woutat with questions.
888-90-MOSES, ext. 703


New Farmer U is supported by NIFA, USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (2020-49400-32787).


From the Organic Broadcaster:
New Farmer U builds strong foundation for beginning farmers’ success

By Sarah Woutat

It’s exciting to start a farm. You come into it with a passion, sure that you are READY! You’ve worked on other farms to learn the ropes, attended conferences and field days, read dozens of books, and listened to podcasts and webinars. Now, you’ve secured some land and can’t wait to jump in.

All that zeal gets channeled into an over-the-top first season. You order 250 chicks to be raised on pasture (but haven’t yet priced out feed), select 50 types of vegetables to grow and sell through a 50-member CSA, pick up two dairy cows (just for fun!), order 100 apple trees, seed pasture for 10 hogs to be sold by the whole or half, and order bees—of course, you need bees! You do all your planning in a spiral-bound notebook that falls into a puddle as you run to save the chickens from a raccoon that got into your perfectly designed chicken tractor three days before they’re scheduled to be butchered, losing all your notes, plans, and records, not to mention chickens.

After three or so years, you’ve climbed a pretty steep learning curve while hanging onto your sanity by the skin of your teeth, and you’ve whittled things down a bit. You sold those dairy cows. You decided not to raise chickens, at least until you’ve really run the numbers on them. You already put the work and money in those apple trees and have decided to invest in an irrigation system for them because you now know that you’re on sandy soil. But how much money will you make on those apples? How will you market them? Is it worth the investment in an irrigation system?

You’ve also found that you do a better job of growing certain vegetables than others, but it’s not quite enough variety to supply a CSA. You’d like to start selling wholesale, but all the recordkeeping for food safety and traceability seems like too much to manage. And, how do you even approach a wholesale buyer? It turns out that local honey is a highly sought-after product in your area with few others doing it—should you step up your bee enterprise?

You have two seasonal interns living on the farm being paid the agriculture minimum wage, with funds taken out for lodging. Is that legal? You have an Instagram account and tons of beautiful photos of the farm that you know can help your business, but how do you manage social media on top of farm chores? You want to transition your farm from leased to purchased land. How can you make that happen?

These are the kinds of questions answered at New Farmer U, a weekend training organized by MOSES and partner organizations. We have offered four of these trainings in the past, geared toward beginning farmers who were just starting out. With feedback from farmers in the MOSES community, we’ve developed a new training oriented more toward “intermediate” beginning farmers—those with a couple years of farming under their belts—focused on business and financial management.

New Farmer U takes place Oct. 29 and 30, 2021, at Camp One Heartland in Willow River, Minnesota. We’re planning this training in partnership with Renewing the Countryside. In 2022, we’ll work with The Land Connection to host New Farmer U in Illinois, and come back to Wisconsin in 2023 in partnership with Wisconsin Farmer’s Union. All farmers, regardless of experience level, will find the information shared at New Farmer U useful, and all are welcome!

New Farmer U in Minnesota this fall is a two-day event, starting with an optional half-day “Fearless Farm Finances” class. The fee for this class is $25, which includes a copy of the MOSES-published book, Fearless Farm Finances. To get the most out of the short class, participants will receive worksheets to complete prior to the class. They’ll receive customized advice from the instructor, Paul Dietmann of Compeer Financial, who is one of the book’s authors.

Participants will have the chance to get to know one another and share their farm stories at the Friday evening dinner and social. There will also be a pre-event Zoom meeting to learn more about the event and start introductions.

Saturday at New Farmer U will include three workshop sessions with multiple offerings. Topics include Developing Wholesale Markets and Institutional Sales, Income Diversification, Land Access and Financing, Online Marketing, Farm Employment Law, and Whole Farm Recordkeeping. Some workshops will include preliminary work to help participants get the most out of the workshops.

The training also will feature a panel of established farmers who will answer questions and share how they’ve managed growth and profitability on their farms.

Farmer Advancement

The USDA defines beginning farmers and ranchers as “those who have operated a farm or ranch for 10 years or less.” Within those 10 years lies a wide variety of experience levels. With the support of a NIFA Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Program grant (BFRDP), MOSES has launched the Farmer Advancement Program, targeting beginning farmers in different stages of their careers: the new beginning farmer in years 0-3, the intermediate beginning farmer in years 4-6, and the advanced beginning farmer in years 7-10.

The Farmer Advancement Program offers a career pipeline to support beginning farmers and ranchers throughout their different levels of development. This program focuses on the development of peer-cohorts of new, intermediate, and more experienced beginning farmer units based on experience level. It also pairs beginning farmers across these experience cohorts to help them support and mentor each other in the challenging lifestyle and financial risks they will all face daily.

Additional components of the Farmer Advancement Program focus on our Farmer-to-Farmer Mentoring Program, now in its 14th year. This year-long, one-to-one mentorship for farmers with at least one or two seasons of running their farm business aims to help them focus on specific production methods or business goals with the help of a more experienced farmer. The program starts and ends in February at the MOSES Organic Farming Conference—program participants receive free admission to the conference.

The application period for the 2022 Farmer-to-Farmer Mentoring Program is open now. Learn more at

Sarah Woutat is the Farmer Advancement Program Coordinator for MOSES.


From the July | August 2021 Issue


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