First Steps to Farming

The First Steps to Farming is a resource is designed to help you get started with your farming enterprise, help you think through steps you may have missed, or simply assure you that you are on your way to a smooth beginning!

Explore the topics below that are of interest to you and will help you in your business journey.

  • Farmer in the driver seat of a tractor turned around to smile at the camera


  • Lambert Farm in Frederick, MD winner of Dairy Distinction 2019

    Business Planning

  • Three pink piggy banks on a blue tablecloth

    Enterprise Budgeting

  • Image of gold and silver coins on a table with a black table cloth

    Financial Planning

  • group of aspiring farmers standing in a circle listening to an extension agent on a community urban farm

    Formulate a Farm Strategy

  • Aerial image of the CMREC farm facility

    Land and Setting Up a Farmstead

  • Group standing behind Calvert's Gift Organic herb and vegetable farm sign outside

    Understanding Licenses, Permits and Certifications

  • Person scooping ice cream at Rocky Point Creamery


  • Urban Farm

    Farming Topics

Beginning Farmer Success Guide Book

The Beginning Farmer Guidebook was developed as part of the Maryland Collaborative for Beginning Farmer Success program and is intended to be a resource for agricultural service providers and farmers in the region. The guide should be used as a companion to the Beginning Farmer Success webpages which contain additional resource materials to support farmers in Maryland.

This Guidebook contains various publications often requested by beginning farmers. Each publication may be used as a stand-alone document or in conjunction with other material. Authorship of each publication is indicated on the actual document.

The Maryland Collaborative for Beginning Farmer Success builds on existing University of Maryland Extension resources and partnerships with Future Harvest-CASA; Southern MD Agriculture Development Commission, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, regional nonprofits, agricultural organizations, and experienced farmers to provide beginning farmers with easily accessible tools and practical experience-based training on-farm production, marketing, land management, business planning, and financial resources.


  • Ben Beale, Extension Educator, University of Maryland Extension-St. Mary’s County
  • Shannon Dill, Extension Educator, University of Maryland Extension-Talbot County
  • Sarah Everhart, Managing Director, Agriculture Law Education Initiative, Maryland Carey Law
  • Shauna Henley, Extension Educator, University of Maryland Extension-Northern Cluster
  • Neith Little, Extension Educator, University of Maryland Extension - Urban Agriculture
  • Ginger Myers, Marketing Specialist, University of Maryland Extension
  • Margaret Todd, Law Fellow, Agriculture Law Education Initiative

Suggestions or comments regarding this publication may be sent to