Exploring Your New Farm Dream

 “This course provided us with the right questions to get our dreams sorted, organized and assessed.” – course participant

Exploring Your New Farm Dream is a course for people who are thinking about starting a commercial farm business (farming with the intent to make a profit rather than as a hobby or a pastime). Developed by the New England Small Farm Institute (NESFI), the course helps aspiring farmers learn what it would take to start and manage their own “farm dream” and decide whether this the right path for them.


Course Description

Over 12 hours in class and a selection of two farm tours, the Explorer course takes a learner-centered approach to exploring agriculture as a career. As a participant in the course, you will be guided through an in depth self-assessment process, designed to help you identify the specific aptitudes, interests, skills and resources that you can bring to a new farm business. You will receive support through the process of researching opportunities in agriculture. And you will meet other serious gardeners, livestock enthusiasts, and entrepreneurs who are also asking themselves, “Is starting an agricultural business right for me?”

  • Currently there are no Exploring Your New Farm Dream courses running.  Please sign up to our bulletin to keep informed of new locations and dates.

Who Should Attend?

If you are considering…

  • full-time farming,
  • farming part-time while continuing other employment,
  • changing your career to start farming,
  • taking over an existing farm business,
  • developing an existing but informal agricultural pastime into a more serious business activity,
  • re-strategizing an existing farm business.

…then Exploring Your New Farm Dream is the ideal learning and networking opportunity for you!

The course will enable you to…

  • set personal and farm goals,
  • assess available resources,
  • determine if farming as a business is a good fit for you,
  • develop an action plan to guide your next steps.

This course is not about developing a farm plan or business plan. It’s about answering the very important question: Is starting an agricultural business right for me?

Course Fee

$325 (+HST) per person or $520(+HST) for two people from the same “farm dream” (ex: family, business partners).

This course is eligible for cost-share funding through the Growing Forward Business Development for Farm Businesses program in Ontario. For more information on program requirements, call 1-800-265-9751 or visit the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association website.

Testimonials from Participants

“The visiting presenters, farm tours and real stories, incredible amount of info!”

“The course is a great resource base from which to start.  I found it very valuable to explore the possible alternative sources assets like land and equipment – I no longer feel like I need to buy land and machinery right away.”


Contact Information

For more information about the course, please contact Cherie Bauman at admin@farmstart.ca or (519) 836-7046 x 103.


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