Technical Assistance and Educational Services

Technical Assistance

New in 2024! NOFA-NY’s Education Team is hosting a weekly Farmer’s Forum call-in hour on Zoom, Tuesdays from 3:00-4:00pm. Bring questions, or just hop on to chat or help build a community knowledge base. Join us!

Technical Assistance Helpline

NOFA-NY’s Organic Education Team is available to answer your questions about organic production. Most are organic farmers themselves, and are well versed in what it takes to transition to organic, implement climate-friendly organic practices, complete certification paperwork, and ways to deal with the inevitable weather, pest and weed issues that are part of producing food. Call our farmer helpline at 607-724-9851 ext. 175, or email farmerhelp@nofany.org.

Educational Events

NOFA-NY offers educational programs and technical assistance throughout the year, covering a wide range of topics. Our educational programming includes conferences, on-farm field days, webinars, educational videos, as well as other online tools and resources.

  • Winter Conference: Our most comprehensive educational event is our annual Organic Farming & Gardening Conference held each January. This event offers a wide array of educational workshops across a variety of tracks. With a concurrent trade show, NOFA-NY’s winter conference provides opportunities for learning and networking for farmers, gardeners, and agribusiness professionals.
  • Community Building Farm Fest Series: Celebrating organic food production is important! Expanding the New York organic community by forming connections between organic farmers and consumers, these events provide organic education, farm tours, networking opportunities, vendor marketplace, music and food. These events are free to attend and held in regional locations throughout the state.
  • Technical Assistance Field Days: Recognizing the value of on-farm education, NOFA-NY coordinates an annual field day series across New York State. Field days typically take place between May and October and cover a wide range of farming practices and skills. Thanks to our generous sponsors, Field Days are free to attend.
  • Educational Webinars: The most cost and time effective way to deliver quality educational content, the NOFA-NY Education Team hosts webinars focused on organic production and certification questions. Webinars are recorded and are available to NOFA-NY members.

Certification

Our certification branch, NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC, has been accredited by the USDA National Organic Program since 2002. We operate the largest organic certification agency in New York State and certify farms and food businesses across the region. We take pride in providing quality third-party verification and great customer service, while maintaining the highest level of organic integrity. Learn more here.

Advocacy

NOFA-NY advocates for a sustainable, local, organic food and farm system within New York State and beyond. We care about issues impacting the health and wellbeing of our farmers, communities, animals, and environment. Visit our Take Action page for more information on our current areas of focus, and become a member to vote on NOFA-NY’s policy positions.

Outreach

NOFA-NY offers online and print resources to keep consumers and farmers up to date on the latest news in organic and sustainable food and farming. Sign up for our eNews and follow us on Facebook and InstagramBecome a member to receive print member newsletters and quarterly copies of NOFA’s newspaper, The Natural Farmer.

Over the years, I’ve learned about everything from high tunnel management to farm finances to cultivating shiitake mushrooms, thanks to NOFA-NY educational events.

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I started attending the NOFA-NY Winter Conference and field days in 2008 and have been running my own Certified Organic vegetable farm in Western New York since 2015. A workshop at the 2013 Winter Conference on no-till organic vegetable farming connected me with a farmer I’d go on to work for and who would be a mentor to me. A 2015 field day in the Rochester area contained information about soil drainage that informed my search for farmland to buy. My fiancé, who had no prior background in farming, began farming with me last year, and he’s already applying what he learned by attending the NOFA-NY Winter Conference the past two years to help our farm apply for grants, implement tarping, design a new wash station, and buy new tools that are appropriate for our farm’s scale.”