Skip Navigation
Menu

Cooperative Extension Bulletin E370

Important Links for Beginner Farmers - RU Ready 2 Farm Toolshed

  • William Hlubik, Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent, Middlesex County
  • William Errickson, Agricultural and Natural Resources Agent, Monmouth County
  • Brendon Pearsall, Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Coordinator, Middlesex County
  • Megan Muehlbauer, Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent, Hunterdon County
  • Meredith Melendez, Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent, Mercer County
  • Nicholas Polanin, Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent, Somerset County
  • Peter Nitzsche, Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent, Morris County
  • Henry Bignell, Jr., Agriculture and Natural Resources Senior Program Coordinator, Warren County
  • Lauren Errickson, Sr. Program Administrator

Finding Reliable Information

There are many online resources available for today’s beginner farmers. However, having so many sources to choose from can be confusing for someone starting an agricultural production business. Determining which sources are trustworthy and accurate can be a challenge, and mistakes can cost time and money. The purpose of this fact sheet is to give beginner farmers in New Jersey a starting base of trusted organizations and resources. Many of the links below connect to university and government resources, which are considered the gold standard of agricultural information. In particular, Rutgers University resources (indicated with an R) can be counted on to provide reliable and verified information that is specific to New Jersey agriculture. In many cases, these Rutgers resources should be the first stop for gathering knowledge.

The links below are divided into six sections:

These links provide a starting point for important information for anyone seeking to begin farming. Farming is a complex business and farmers must develop many diverse skill sets in order to succeed. For additional help and guidance, beginner farmers should seek out their local county cooperative extension office. County Extension professionals can provide farmers with a wealth of local information on soil quality, farm infrastructure, and agricultural production. Additionally, they can help farmers navigate state and local regulations, discover opportunities, and connect with other local farmers and agricultural experts.

Disclaimer: The authors recognize that they have not created an exhaustive list and that new resources may be available from a number of sources listed here, new sources, or from those inadvertently omitted from this publication.

General Links

The resources in this section link to major information hubs. Here farmers can find some of the highest quality government and university Cooperative Extension knowledge bases. Each of these sites contains further access to a wide array of educational and training resources for beginner farmers.

Rutgers University General Links for Beginning Farmers

Innovative Crops and Marketing

This section links to information on choosing high-value specialty crops as well as tools for finding and developing markets for products. Beginner farmers will find these resources useful as they research the most profitable crops for their region and farm size.

  • Mid-Atlantic Vegetable Production Guide
    Commercial production recommendations guidebook.
  • Fungicide Resistance Management Guidelines for Vegetable Crops, Mid-Atlantic
    Commercial production recommendations guidebook.
  • NJ Tree Fruit Production Guide
    Commercial production recommendations guidebook.
  • Blueberry Production Guide
    Commercial production recommendations guidebook.
  • Commercial Grape Pest Control Recommendations for NJ
    Commercial production recommendations guidebook.
  • Mid-Atlantic Field Crop Weed Production Guide
    Commercial production recommendations guidebook.
  • Mid-Atlantic Berry Production Guide
    Commercial production recommendations guidebook.
  • Disease Control Recommendations for Ornamental Crops
    Commercial production recommendations guidebook.
  • Insect Control Recommendations for Shade Trees and Commercial Nursery Crops
    Commercial production recommendations guidebook.
  • Financial Information

    This section contains a number of business planning, budgeting, and accounting resources to help beginner farmers develop the financial aspect of their business. Preparing a detailed business plan after thorough research is an essential step for starting any business. Also featured here are links to organizations that offer low-cost farm loans, as well as potential grant opportunities for beginner farmers.

    Business and Financial Planning

    Obtaining Financial Assistance

    Beginner farmers need to be aware of the numerous laws and regulations governing the agriculture industry. State and county agencies, including county cooperative extension, are usually the best resources for staying informed. This list of links will connect farmers with some of the more important agencies in the state.

    Regulations and Rules for Farm Businesses

    Legislative Topics and Updates

    Networking and Trade Groups

    Connecting with and learning from other, more experienced farmers is important for any beginner farmer. This section contains links to several of the major trade groups and networking organizations in the region. Some of these groups hold annual conferences and training events, which are a great way to meet other producers and agricultural professionals. While there are many other commodity/trade groups, councils, and associations one can find, this list is a good place to start.

    Additional Resources

    This section features a broad mix of practical resources. Here there is information on accepting food assistance benefits payments, finding and acquiring land and agricultural employment, and more Rutgers links to services such as soil testing and pest monitoring.

    Food Assistance Programs

    Locating Land, Internships, and Opportunities

    Practical Rutgers Resources

    Disclaimer: The authors recognize that they have not created an exhaustive list and that new resources may be available from a number of sources listed here, new sources or from those inadvertently omitted from this publication.

    July 2021