University of Maryland Extension

Education & Training

ECO City Farms Urban Ag course

There are a variety of education and training opporunties in our region! Be sure to subscribe to UMD Extension's Urban Ag Newsletter.

Institute of Applied Agriculture
The Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) is a 60-credit, two-year academic certificate program in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) at the University of Maryland, College Park. The IAA provides students with the entrepreneurial and technical skills needed to manage profitable agricultural enterprises. Gain hands-on experience and career access in one of eight areas of study covering current practices in the agribusiness, sustainable agriculture, horticulture, landscape management, and turfgrass industries.

The IAA motivates students as they start, enhance, or redirect their careers. Enrollees include recent high school graduates, people who have been out of school for years, lifelong learners, and career changers.

This program also provides a gateway for students who want to continue their education by transferring into a four-year degree program. Take advantage of the IAA's rolling admissions and apply today!

ECO City Farms Beginning Farmer Training Program
While there is no simple step­-by­-step method to become a farmer, ECO City Farm’s Growing Urban Farms and Farmers program is designed to help an aspiring, new, or beginning farmer learn the information and practice the skills they need to farm– from the ground up. The training program builds upon all of ECO’s offerings over the past six years. It includes comprehensive practical hands­-on experiences, one­-on­-one mentoring, and a well-tested graphics-­rich, culturally­-appropriate curriculum that includes all of the crop production, resource management, business and administrative skills needed for graduates to roll up their sleeves and farm on their own land.

In partnership with Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) Center for Entrepreneurial Development, the program entails 27 hours of classroom learning, and provides graduates with a Certificate of Urban Commercial Agriculture and continuing education credits upon completion of the program. The PGCC AGR­302: Intensive Introduction to Urban Commercial Agriculture is a key component of the Growing Urban Farms and Farmers program. After the first year of training, a number of successful participants will be offered an additional year of guided learning on designated farmland with many opportunities to direct market their produce. Full participation in all components of the program is required of all trainees. For more information, click here.

Future Harvest CASA Beginning Farmer Training Program
The Beginner Farmer Training Program (BFTP) offers a year-long, immersive training experience that combines a comprehensive classroom curriculum with hands-on learning at some of the region's most successful sustainable farms. All BFTP programs are entirely free and trainees receive a complimentary annual FHCASA membership, free registration to their field days throughout the year, and free admission to our annual winter conference.

The program is designed with built-in scheduling flexibility to allow new farmers to further their training while maintaining their own farms or other work. They offer 3 different levels of training, designed to meet the specific needs of beginning farmers at different stages in their careers. for more information, click here.

University of Maryland Eastern Shore's Small Farm Program

The Small Farm Program is administered by the 1890 Extension Program headquartered at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore with funding support provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Participation in the program is voluntary and open to all farmers and landowners who are interested in receiving assistance.

The primary purpose of the Small Farm Program is to deliver educational programs, training, and outreach that help limited-resource and socially disadvantaged farmers own and operate farms successfully and assure equitable participation in USDA agriculture programs.

The Small Farm Outreach Initiative provides a variety of outreach and educational activities that address the issues and needs as identified among target audiences to include but not limited to: alternative enterprise selection, direct marketing, improved and inexpensive agriculture production practices, farm business management, conservation awareness, and participation in USDA farm programs. Outreach and educational programs are delivered in group settings (ex. informational meetings, workshops, farm field demonstrations, farm bus tours, and conferences) as well as farm visits.

For more information, click here.

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