By Jimmy Dula, NFU Intern

Snow and cold weather may slow down food production, but there is no off-season for farmers. Even when it is too cold for crops, farmers are readying for the spring, researching new production methods, educating themselves on new farm technologies, and planning market strategies. Thorough  preparation for the growing season can greatly reduce stress, knowing each day which goals to accomplish in order to meet production quantities.

The internet is abounding with information for farmers. In fact, these days, a beginning farmer or rancher can learn to smoothly run an operation by spending a winter watching YouTube videos. How-to guides and conference webinars cover every step of the production process, from seeding strategies to farm taxes. Below are some of the best online resources and conferences available for the upcoming season. Go ahead and shovel the snow from the door, pour yourself a hot cup of coffee, and explore.

Young Farmers Conference – Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

Informative video programming on a wide range of topics for beginning farmers, including grass fed grazing and land access for urban farmers

Calendar of Events – National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)  Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA)

A calendar of in-person conferences and online webinars for producers of all types and sizes

The Market Gardener: Six Figure Farming – Jean-Martin Fortier

A five part video series on profitable farming produced by Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont

National Farmers Union Women’s Conference

A conference March 3-5 in San Diego, California, that addresses issues specific to women in agriculture, including business planning, succession planning, running for local office, networking, telling their own stories, and innovative marketing

Like what you’ve read? Check out our Beginning Farmer Forum home page, and join the conversation in the Beginning Farmer Forum Facebook group.

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