Farm Aid Resource Guide for Sustainable Production

Ward Burroughs of Burroughs Family Farms, where they build compost from their organic dairy manure and almond orchard prunings, then apply it to the orchards for fertility.

Photo: California Climate and Agriculture Network

Many farmers are looking for new ways to farm that care for the land, diversify their income and deepen their connection to the community. The emergence of a strong and growing market for organic, locally and regionally grown, humanely raised and family farm-identified food provides significant opportunities for both beginning and established farmers to farm sustainably. Explore the resources below to discover how you can find new ways to farm now and into the future.

Updated Spring 2016.


What is sustainable agriculture? Explore the fundamentals with ATTRA’s Applying the Principles of Sustainable Farming.

Whether your land is used for raising crops, livestock or both, you can improve its health and productivity with holistic management. Discover this values-based approach with ATTRA’s Holistic Management: A Whole-Farm Decision Making Framework.

Contact the Center for Rural Affairs’ Sustainable Options Hotline to speak with an expert about the many federal grant programs available for sustainable agriculture.

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition offers a Farmers’ Guide to the Conservation Stewardship Program [PDF link], a federal program that rewards farmers for sustainable practices on their land.


Are you thinking of transitioning your farm to organic production? The Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) has a variety of guides to help you make the change.

Rodale’s Organic Price Report gives you up-to-date data on organic prices in the marketplace.


Interested in becoming certified organic? Read MOSES’ Guidebook for Organic Certification, a 36-page guide with answers to common questions about organic certification.

Are you growing organic but not interested in certification? The Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture offers a fantastic guide called Small Scale Organics: A Guidebook for the Non-certified Organic Grower [PDF link].

Not finding what you need? Request one-on-one assistance from our Farmer Services team by filling out our Online Request for Assistance form or by calling 1-800-FARM-AID (1-800-327-6243). Farm Aid staff are happy to listen and help you however we can.

Also check out our Online Directory of farm service organizations and Farmer Hero stories for additional inspiration and ideas.

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