University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Mentorship Program

The KyFarmStart mentorship program is in place to offer sustained support to the KyFarmStart participant. We feel that a mentor can be critical to the success of a beginning farmer and will help them to take the next step in their farming operation.

KyFarmStart will try to connect the beginning farmer with an experienced farmer with similar enterprise interest. This gives the beginning farmer an informal relationship with a valuable resource to ask questions about the challenges, both production and financial, that they may face in the start-up and maintenance of an operation.

What is a Mentor?

KyFarmStart sees a mentor as a resource person, who the beginning farmer can call upon to ask questions and not feel "stupid" for asking them.
A mentor is:
  • Someone who the beginning farmer can use as a sounding board for ideas.
  • Someone to give advice, not tell the beginning farmer what to do.
  • A mentor is a listener.Sometimes we all just want someone to listen to what we are thinking.
  • The mentor is also encouraged to point the beginning farmer to additional resources. Mentors do not have all of the answers but they may know where to find them.
  • A mentor is a volunteer. KyFarmStart asks that mentors commit to one year of advising the beginning farmer.
  • Mentors are interested in helping because they care about the future of farming in Kentucky.
  • This will be a time commitment that is determined between the mentor and participant. Examples of that time commitment are: face-to-face interaction, farm visits, phone time, and email.
  • Mentors should be open to possibly learning something from the beginning farmer.

For more information contact Sarah Lovett