Online Newsletters, Blogs, and Webinars
A variety of useful resources for farmers and ranchers are available on the Internet. Below is a selection of free and paid-subscription newsletters, blogs, and webinars from universities, extension programs, and sustainable agriculture organizations around the country.
Getting Started in Farming (Cornell Small Farms Program): Beginning farmers and ranchers share their perspectives on getting started in agriculture, choosing an enterprise, marketing, the importance of profit in sustaining a farm enterprise, dealing with regulations, taxes, and insurance, and other topics. Click "Playlist" on the bottom left corner of the video box to see all farmers and topics.
On-Farm Production Techniques (Cornell Small Farms Program): Experienced farmers and ranchers demonstrate techniques for growing transplants, irrigation, animal husbandry, running a small dairy, making cheese, growing herbs, and many other processes. Click "Playlist" on the bottom left corner of the video box to see all farmers and topics.
Ranching for Profit (Ranch Management Consultants): Key ideas for managing your operation as a business, rather than "a pile of assets and a collection of jobs." This channel includes six short videos, including one by UCCE's own Roger Ingram!
Enterprising Rural FamiliesTM: This monthly newsletter is an instrument of the Enterprising Rural Families: Making It WorkTM program of the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service. Archives organized by date and by article topic. To subscribe, send an e-mail to: information@eRuralFamilies.org.
Minnesota Institute of Sustainable Agriculture (MISA) newsletters: Contains links to MISA Sustainable Agriculture Newsletter, Ag Innovations, Conservation Planner, Land Stewardship Letter, and others, including a variety of Minnesota-based farming newspapers.
National Center for Appropriate Technology E-newsletters: Publications include NCAT ACTION (quarterly newsletter), ATTRAnews (bimonthly newsletter), ATTRA Weekly Harvest, Cosecha Mensual (Spanish language sustainable agriculture newsletter), and SIFT (Small-Scale Intensive Farm Training Program) News. Subscribe here.
Oregon Small Farm News: Concentrates on both commercial small farm entrepreneurs as well as non-commercial small acreage landowners. Their focus embraces organic/biological and conventional farming systems and emphasizes three areas: small acreage stewardship, commercial small farms, and community food systems. Subscribe here.
Rodale Institute's The New Farm: Farmer-to-farmer know-how from The Rodale Institute. Features seed and crop conversion calculators along with other tools, personal stories from farmers, useful articles, op-eds, organic news and research, and more. No subscription.
USDA Small Farm Digest: A twice yearly, electronic publication focusing on topics of interest to small scale farmers and ranchers. To subscribe to the Small Farm Digest, send an email to email@example.com.
The Cultivar Newsletter (UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems): Reports on research and activities of the center. Includes updates on sustainable agriculture topics, literature reviews, calendar section, and gardening information. Note that hard copies of The Cultivar are no longer being published; an e-newsletter format is now being considered. No subscription.
Sustainable Agriculture (UC SAREP): Published three times per year, this newsletter reports on program activities including workshops, grants information and policy issues. It also includes technical reviews of research, journal articles, reports, and books. Subscribe here.
Small Farm News (UC Small Farm Program): This 12-page newsletter showcases news and tips from University of California farm advisors who work with small-scale farmers and ranchers. Features regularly include information that farmers and ranchers can use in their businesses, as well as upcoming events, research projects, online resources, new publications and other news from the UC Small Farm Program. Subscribe here.
Cultivating Connections (University of Vermont): This newsletter informs readers of current projects, provides a sustainable agriculture calendar of events, and helps raise awareness of the benefits of sustainable agriculture. No subscription.
Western SARE Simply Sustainable: SARE's mission is to advance — to the whole of American agriculture — innovations that improve profitability, stewardship and quality of life by investing in groundbreaking research and education. Get the latest information on Western SARE by reading current and past newsletters.
- January 26, 2012: It's Viable...? Now What? From Feasibility Study to Business Plan
- February 16, 2012: The Price Point Conundrum - How the Sustainable Farmer Can Afford Her Own Tomato
- November 2011: Two Revolutionary Tools for Beginning Farmers
- September 2011: The Farmer and the Dell®: Technology for Good Food
New Farmer Project (University of Vermont)
Webinars offered on business management, crops and production techniques, farm safety, food safety, land access, livestock, marketing, and regulation.
Ranching for Profit (Ranch Management Consultants)
Ranch Management Consultants presents a free one hour webinar each month. These interactive programs feature Dave Pratt sharing principles taught at the Ranching For Profit School. A recording of the latest webinar will be available to view for a month following each live broadcast.
Webinars by eOrganic
Presented by eXtension, an interactive learning environment delivering researched knowledge from land-grant universities to consumers. Sample Topics from Archives:
- Microbial Food Safety Issues of Organic Foods
- Plan for Marketing Your Organic Products
- Third Party Audits for Small and Medium Sized Meat Producers
- Webinars about Mobile Slaughter Units
ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture Video Archive
Sample Topics include:
- Is USDA's AGR-LITE Insurance Program Right for You?
- From the Farm to the Farmers' Market
- All About Farm Energy Audits
- Hoop Houses For Extending Your Growing Season
Foothill Agrarian. One of Placer County's own! Dan Macon, owner of Flying Mule Farm, writes on all things concerning sheep and ranching in the Sierra Nevada Foothills. Topics range from the economic viability of small-scale ranching, to the pleasures of managing his herd.
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. NSAC is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. This blog discusses these issues and advocacy efforts.
National Young Farmers Coalition. A group of young and sustainable farmers organizing for their collective success by defining the issues that beginning farmers face, fighting for the policy change that they need, and bringing farmers together in person and online to learn, share and build a stronger community.
Purdue Sheep 'n Goats. This blog contains articles and news pertaining to the sheep and goat industries. It is intended to provide important and interesting information to producers.
Small Farm Central. A method for managing small farm websites, Small Farm Central also offers commentary on current issues impacting small farms.
Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) BLAWG. SSAWG was founded in 1991 to foster the sustainable agriculture movement in the southern United States. The SSAWG BLAWG reports on activities of the organization and on the state of sustainable agriculture around the country.
Farmers' Markets Today: A magazine published six times a year as a resource for direct market farmers and managers and vendors of farmers' markets. Includes stories about what growers, artisans and farmers markets are doing to promote their businesses, reach new customers and develop value-added products. Subscribe here.
Growing for Market keeps farmers and market gardeners informed about the business of growing and selling vegetables, fruits, cut flowers, plants, herbs, and other food products. At whatever scale, this publication contains valuable information that will help make your business more profitable and enjoyable. For online subscriptions, click here. For print subscriptions, click here.
Small Farmer's Journal: This quarterly international agrarian journal has steadfastly held that the most important, useful and vital component of all agriculture is the independent family farm. Subscribe here.