The BUFA program has been instrumental in helping my wife and I make the transition from urban backyard gardening to market gardening. The classroom sessions together with the OSU Growing Farms workshop series provided a comprehensive survey of all aspects of starting and running a small farm: from finding land to growing practices and marketing techniques. The program also provided a clear-eyed view of the challenges of such an enterprise and helped us set realistic business goals. The farm visits were inspiring it was great to see working examples of local small farms and get the benefit of their experience.
Ganesh Balamurugan, BUFA 2012
"I feel very fortunate to be a graduate of the BUFA program. The apprenticeship allowed me to gain a very comprehensive foundation in sustainable farming methods. It was great to learn through a full season of farming working along side experienced farmers. The instructors are very committed to providing a hands on practical learning experience. They are also very dedicated to doing all they can to see that happens for each student. I enjoyed all aspects of the program especially the field trips to different farms to see various farming methods, equipment and infrastructure in action. Still, I would say that overall my favorite part of the program was the actual hands on farming experience! It was truly a unique opportunity that has opened doors for me so I could continue to farm. I am now working in a organic vegetable CSA. I am so grateful to BUFA for starting me out with all the necessary skills to be a successful farmer."
-Karen Flowers, BUFA 2012
"I would certainly recommend [the program] and here's why: The program is not only an incredibly detailed and thorough instruction in vegetable growing, but it also functions as an incubator for new business ideas related to small scale farming. And all of this in a generous, supportive environment where both the instructors and the other students become a community for future growing projects! "
-Emily von W. Gilbert, BUFA 2011
"[The BUFA program] is designed specifically for the aspiring small-scale, organic, urban farmer; providing a comprehensive curriculum as well as a network of both aspiring and established farmers. My time in BUFA has raised my expectations and aspirations. I feel prepared not only to apply what I've learned in the field, but to share it with others."
-Nathan Hoover, BUFA 2011
"I recommend this course to anyone wanting to learn the basics of small scale farming. The classes were more accessible than any other courses out there. I was able to attend the BUFA classes and still keep my work schedule. The number of opportunities to get involved in small scale and urban scale farming surprised me. The BUFA program showed me that if you're willing to just go for it, there are ample opportunities to find a farming niche."
-David Renn, BUFA 2011
"It is almost like unconscious learning with the combination of classroom and outside field work. There is a great amount of repetition which is important. Several times during the program students are asked to be the foreman/field leader, directing the team. The first time I lead I was overwhelmed, but the second time I was so much more confident! The instructors always answer my questions and I have learned five times more than I ever thought.”
-Laura Belson, BUFA 2011
"My husband and I wanted to become farmers and needed to learn the skills. Now plans are in place for us to start a small CSA and sell at farmer's markets. Anyone who wants to learn what it takes to be an urban farmer will learn it in this program!"
-Amanda Soto, BUFA 2011