How Can NCAT Help You?
Farmers and ranchers are looking for reliable information on sustainable and organic agriculture, on how to get started in farming, on how to qualify for government programs that reward land stewardship and resource conservation, and on how to pursue such profitable niche markets as organic meats and grains or agriculture tourism. The answers to these and many other similar questions are available free from an NCAT program called ATTRA - Sustainable Agriculture.
ATTRA publications cover a wide range of topics, including:
Visit www.attra.ncat.org to view a complete list of our publications. Most are available to download in PDF format.
ATTRA offers free, online self-instruction courses to help beginning farmers and producers who want to diversify their operations or expand their markets. The courses include a variety of educational tools such as worksheets, narrated PowerPoint presentations, videos, and tip sheets.
- Scaling Up for Regional Markets Tutorial
- Ecological Pest Management Tutorial
- Beginning Farmer Business Planning, Marketing, and Sheep, Goat & Poultry Resources
- Getting Started in Farming: An Introduction to Farm Business Planning
ATTRA's friendly staff members are knowledgeable about livestock, horticulture, agronomy, organic farming, marketing, farm energy, and many other sustainable agriculture topics, and are available to provide free assistance. ATTRA offers several ways producers can contact an agriculture specialist, who will research questions and send the client a report, including sources of more information.
- Call ATTRA at 1-800-346-9140 (English) or 1-800-411-3222 (Spanish)
- Use our online Ask A Sustainable Agriculture Expert form.
- Text your questions to email@example.com
In addition to over 300 publications, ATTRA's website contains webinars, videos, searchable databases, and the Farmer Knows Best forum, plus tools to keep you up-to-date on what's happening in sustainable agriculture:
Armed to Farm: Sustainable Agriculture Training for Military Veterans
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is organizing this ATF event, in partnership with the Cornell Small Farms program, Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Farmer-Veterans coalition and NCAT's ATTRA program.
The ATF event will be held: August 2-7, 2015 at Houghton College, Allegany County in western New York state.
This is the 18th regional Armed to Farm program being delivered by NCAT across the country since 2010 and is available to veterans from the Empire State at no cost through a USDA funded Beginning Farmer Rancher Grant. The program is six days long and includes classroom and on-farm learning through exercises, discussions, presentations, hands-on skill practice and tours at host farms in the area.
Instructors include sustainable agriculture specialists from NCAT, Cornell staff, USDA agencies and host farmers many of whom are veterans. According to Norm Conrad, NCAT's northeast regional director the peer teaching by other farmers is what sets Armed to Farm apart from many other programs. It is recommended that a team of two participants from each new beginning farm attend the training together. Conrad notes that " Now a day's no one farms alone. Including your partner - a spouse, sibling, or parent that are involved in the operation, and ha
Host farm visits include livestock, fruit, vegetable and dairy operations with hands-on sessions. Those visits are interspersed with short classroom presentations and breakout sessions. Participants also receive a set of educational materials that include a selection of the ATTRA sustainable agriculture publications and related texts. The program includes meals, materials and lodging for the week.
For more information, please contact Norm Conrad at firstname.lastname@example.org or (479) 587-3471.
What is Armed to Farm?
Armed to Farm is Sustainable Agriculture Training for Military Veterans.
NCAT has been involved in targeted veteran outreach and assistance since 2010. NCAT agriculture specialists have hosted and been involved in at least 17 veteran focused trainings, reaching over 800 veterans across the US.
NCAT has partnered with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Farmer Veteran Coalition, University of Arkansas, Growing Warriors, and other sustainable agriculture organizations to train veterans interested in sustainable agriculture careers.
The goals of Armed to Farm are:
- To train veterans and their partners to operate sustainable crop and livestock enterprises
- To create a network of veterans and their families who are starting careers in sustainable agriculture
- To provide technical assistance to participants as they start and improve their farming operations
Trainings range in length from conference presentations, two-day workshops, and week-long training events. The multi-day programs include a mix of educational classes— covering topics such as risk management, business planning, and marketing—and hands-on activities at successful livestock, crop, and agritourism operations.
NCAT Sustainable Agriculture specialists will teach the training sessions. Additional contributors will include staff from the University of Arkansas, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and experienced crop and livestock producers.
Contact Margo Hale at 479-442-9824 or email@example.com for more information about Armed to Farm
- Attendees are responsible for their travel to and from the event. Please let us know if travel cost is an issue.
- Space is limited and NCAT reserves the right to select those people it deems would benefit most by this event.
Funding for Armed to Farm has come from NCAT's ATTRA - Sustainable Agriculture program, USDA Rural Business Cooperative Services, USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, USDA Risk Management Agency and Swords to Plowshares.