Regular Track: To become a certified farm seeker as someone new to farming, complete the following steps:
- Register for Virginia Farm Link: Registration can be done for free by following this link: Register as a farm seeker. Once registered as a farm seeker you can search and contact farm owners via the Virginia Farm Link system. Once you are a Certified Farm Seeker, the designation will be listed on your profile.
- Demonstrate On-Farm Experience: You will need to gather experience working on a farm before you may become a Certified Farm Seeker. You can gain farm experience in many different ways. Contact your local Virginia Cooperative Extension Office or join the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Program (VBFRCP) to build your farming network and skill set. If you have on-farm experience, then you are closer to becoming certified.
- Complete the Whole Farm Planning Module: To complete this step, you need to complete the Whole Farm Planning Module. The purpose of whole farm planning is to make informed short- and long term decisions about all aspects of your farming operation by evaluating resources, goals, motivations, and more.
- Develop Your Farm Business Plan: The components and worksheets in the Whole Farm Planning Module provide the guidance you need to develop the short- and long-term farming goals that are the foundation of your farm business plan. You can work with a professional to develop a farm business plan or develop one yourself. The Virginia Farm Link resources webpage provides information for completing your farm business plan.
- Create Farm Resume: The final step is showing your farm experience on a professional resume. Consult the On-Farm Experience Module for methods of drafting a resume that highlights on-farm experience.
Once you have completed the above requirements, submit them via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Once the Farm Link Administrator has reviewed the submitted material, you will be contacted. If you are not able to be certified, staff will instruct you on what is necessary to become certified and you can re-submit when ready. The review time is typically 30 days.