Farmer-to-farmer mentorship has been a core part of sustainable agriculture from the beginning.
NOFA/RI’s Farm Advisors Program funds experienced farmers to provide free technical assistance to beginning and established growers who want to improve their practices and receive guidance throughout the season.
How to Participate
- Click on the link at the top of this page to submit a request for a FREE consultation.
- Your request form will be read and paired with an NOFA/RI Advisor. If you want to request a particular advisor, please do!
- The Advisor will contact you directly and you can both set up a time to work together.
- Once goals, time, and any visits are completed, each advisee commits to participating in an “exit survey” for the betterment of the program.
- It’s as simple as that.
Funded by the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program of the Agricultural Marketing Service, US Department of Agriculture, administered by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
Sample Program Topics
- Develop a business plan for a new farm
- Explore a mentor’s farm set up
- Improve soil health and fertility
- Cover crops and crop rotation
- Pest, disease, and weed management
- Seedling and greenhouse management
- High tunnels and season extension
- Safe tractor, tool and implement use
- Post-harvest handling
- Value added production and marketing
- Organic certification and NRCS applications
Meet Our Advisors
Camille is owner/manager on a 3 acre certified organic vegetable farm in Exeter, RI. She and co-owner Bob Payne use organic and sustainable practices to grow a variety of greens herbs and vegetables and sell through a 40-member CSA, farmers markets and wholesale to food cooperatives and restaurants. Within their first year of business, they met their financial goals.
Camille trained as an apprentice at Greenview Farm before branching out in 2013 to start Little River Farm, where they use conservation tillage, along with high tunnels and other season extension practices.
Camille can advise on whole farming planning, cover crops, post harvest handling and seedling production.
Mike and Kelli Roberts
Mike and Kelli came to farming from engineering. For the first few years after founding the farm in 2009, they each held offsite jobs. After pouring their hearts and souls into starting Roots Farm, they are now both able to focus on the farm full-time, in addition to starting their family (an eight year old and a five year old).
Roots Farm is a certified-organic, diversified vegetable farm, growing year-round on a small acreage using no-till, intensive and compact farming methods.
With the flexibility and complexity of six moveable high tunnels, the farm optimizes time and space. This approach supports the family and three full-time employees while still prioritizing soil health.
John has been owner and manager of Big Train Farm since 2009 and the farm has been certified organic for several years now. John has over 15 years of experience as an organic farmer as well as an academic background in biology and chemistry. When not farming, or advising for NOFA/RI, John periodically teaches a Soil, Plant, and Farm Methodology course. John has experience working with antique and modern tractors. He teaches tractor operations to farmers.
Special Skills: soil test interpretation and field planning
Monique is a soil health technician focused on the study of soil biology through microscopy. In addition to founding a worm composting business, Wiggle Room, Monique has designed and built over 40 edible school and community gardens and farms throughout New England, including a 2-acre urban farm in Bridgeport CT. Monique teaches ‘How to Grow Your Own Food’ classes and speaks on healthy soil and community gardening, sharing her knowledge of regenerative agriculture practices, microscopy, and community building.
Arcadian Fields is a three acre certified organic farm nestled in the middle of Arcadia State Park. Diana been growing certified organic crops since 1999. Specialties include greens, herbs and heirloom tomatoes, but there are a lot of other crops she loves to grow as well.
Diana can provide consultations on crop production, CSAs, and share-harvest farming.
Our NOFA/RI Certification Consultant is Laura Davis. Laura is a NOFA/Mass Board Member, Certification Assistance Coordinator, and owner/farmer at Long Life Farm in Hopkinton, MA – a diversified vegetable farm that was certified organic in April 2013 by Baystate Organic Certifiers.
Christina has experience growing and selling vegetables, herbs, and ornamental crops.
Favorite crops: vegetables, cut flowers and herbs
Special skills: seedling production and field growing of cut flowers and herbs; marketing at Farmer’s Markets.
“I have gained a view into the inner workings of a for-profit vegetable farm.”
“There are always people around who will answer questions, but it is good to have the formal relationship with someone who you know you can call, especially during the busy time of year.”
“Even though it is a loose structure, it is a structure. So I don’t have to feel apologetic about sending him emails.”