California Farm Academy

Beginning Farmer Training Program

Program Overview

The Beginning Farmer Training Program provides aspiring farmers a strong foundation from which to launch and grow their farm businesses. In this immersive educational program, students have the opportunity to gain farm production and business knowledge in a variety of settings that appeal to different learning styles. Throughout their time in the Training Program, the next generation of motivated, hard-working farm entrepreneurs gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence to begin working towards their farming goals.

Classes & Curriculum

Curriculum combines lectures by farmers and agricultural professionals, hands-on field experience, and farm visits to expose students to topics critical for a future in farming. During the seven-month Training Program, lessons focus on crop production, business planning and marketing, and culminate in a personal business plan or farm career plan.

To learn more about the Training Program curriculum, take a look at our detailed program content.

Dates & Additional Information

Admission Requirements & Application Process

Application Process:The written application will be considered for the Class of 2021 and is Phase 1 of the application process. The current application period closed November 20, 2020. If selected, Phase 2 of the application is an interview. Following the application deadline, CFA staff will review applications and will reach out via email to notify you of your status.


The cost of tuition for the 2020 season was $4500. Tuition covers classes, hands-on experience, individual meetings with the Program Manager, & farm visits. Printed curriculum materials are provided, as are the necessary machinery, tools and supplies for the activities. The California Farm Academy partners with the Farmer Veteran Coalition and veterans are encouraged to apply.

There is no application fee, however full or partial payment for the program is required upon acceptance in order to secure a place in the session. If minimum payment is not made by the due date, the participant will lose their spot in the program and it may be offered to a wait-listed applicant. A 10% surcharge will be deducted from any refund of tuition after a student withdraws from the program. Once class has started, tuition is non-refundable.

More information

Sri Sethuratnam, California Farm Academy Director
(530) 795-4146

Maureen Thompson, California Farm Academy Training Program Manager
(530) 795-4146

Learn more about our 2019 graduates »

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