BUFA 2014 - Application Period Is Now Closed

BUFA is no longer accepting applications for the class of 2014. Applications for the class of 2015 will be available in Fall of 2014. Click here to be notified when applications are available.

Beginning Urban Farmer Apprenticeship (BUFA)

BUFA is training the next generation of urban farmers!


What is BUFA?

BUFA is a 7-month program that offers garden and urban-scale farming education to our next generation of farmers, non-profit garden managers, leaders in the local food justice movement and entrepreneurs interested in food production-based small business.  The program is intended to teach students basic skills and offer experiences that will introduce them to the field of small scale agriculture.  An important piece of the training is developing connections and relationships with the organizations, farmers, food justice workers, businesses, etc. that make up our local food system.  We want to help you explore local small-scale agriculture as potential career path to help transform our local food system.

How does BUFA work?

Through formal classes, hands-on training, field trips, direct marketing sales (Farmers Market and Community Supported Agriculture) and online learning resources, BUFA provides a fun and interactive educational experience.  Our focus on the accessibility and manageability of small-scale farming makes this the perfect training for the novice gardener/farmer who is interested in food production.  BUFA also includes a series of 6 workshops focusing on the business development side of farming.  This series is based on OSU’s established Growing Farms: Successful Whole Farm Management Seminar Series.  While participating in BUFA, students get to connect with real, local farmers and hear them talk about the ups and downs of their businesses.  Students will also have the opportunity to visit may local farms and garden/agriculture based businesses to see how they really work.  These important connections, along with the practical growing knowledge, gives them the "foot in the door" that they need to step into the fields of food production, food justice work and urban-scale agriculture.

BUFA Content

The primary focus of BUFA is intensive vegetable production in urban and community settings.  That means we want to teach you how to grow food, producing as much as you possibly can in the smallest space possible.  We focus on using sustainable and organic methods.  You won't learn how to manage 1000 acres of corn and soybeans, but you will learn to grow vegetables and fruit that thrives in our climate and can directly feed the community in our local food system.  Our focus is on growing food appropriate to our climate and growing as much as possible in the small amount of space you have...from a 20'x20' community garden plot up to 1+ acres of hand-scale vegetable farm.  While we don't focus on animal agriculture, some of our field trips will also include examples of animal agriculture.

Who manages BUFA?

BUFA is conducted as a partnership between Multnomah County and OSU Extension Service with support from community partners including West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District, East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, and MercyCorps Northwest as part of a USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher grant.

BUFA is no longer accepting applications for the class of 2014. Applications for the class of 2015 will be available in Fall of 2014. Click here to be notified when applications are available. 



Hours of Instruction


Intended audience

Classroom/ Field Trips Only



Folks who want to learn more about vegetable production and whole farm management through classes and field trips only.  This is a good option for people with limited time who want to dip their toes into the field of small scale agriculture.  Scholarships available.

Community Farming



Folks interested in our classroom and field trip learning opportunities, but also desire a hands-on, in the field learning experience focused on urban, community-based food production.  Students will learn how to use small spaces to maximize food production.  Scholarships available.

Urban Market Farming



Folks looking to jump-start their career in agricultural food production and/or marketing.  This intensive, hands-on track will focus on diverse crop production, small scale farm management, community supported agriculture (CSA) and farmer's market sales.  Scholarships available.

We value a diverse community, built on inclusion, equity and cultural competence. Together we can create vibrant, strong communities and a solid foundation for future generations. Minorities, women, and qualified individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.