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The FBEN is a free member network created to strengthen and support the work of farmers, educators, and community leaders who provide access and experiences of all kinds on working farms. Our mission is to inspire, nurture, and promote farm-based education. The FBEN is a project administered by Shelburne Farms and supported by regional groups, advisers, and founding partners.


Photo: Courtney Ley 


Members are from are nonprofit, for-profit, and community-based farms, producing vegetables, animals, fiber, timber, and other natural resource products. Member programs serve all ages from infant visitors with their parent, through K to 12 grades, to university students and adults throughout their lives. Connect with other members through our member directory, which you can access once you join, or by clicking the bottom of any email from

Bean Pod

4,962 individuals have joined the FBEN since 2006.


Members represent 28 countries and 48 states. 


In 2022, we hosted programming for 807
farm-based educators and collaborated with 38 guest presenters.

Photo: East New York Farms, 2018


We strive to join all farm-based education practitioners in an international network to facilitate a supportive environment for our work.


We strive to serve as a resource for professional development, networking, employment, education, programming, and facilities management to reinforce and support each member’s farm-based education practice.


We strive to serve as a champion of and advocate for the growth of farm-based education programs and enhance the visibility of the field.



In 2006, 18 representatives from eleven farms and organizations met for a lively 2-day meeting at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont. The idea for the association had brewed for quite some time. Brooke Redmond, a consultant to farm-based education programs, had visited farm programs in the spring of 2004 while researching her masters thesis. In talking to farm-based educators, board members, and teachers, she realized that everyone had the same idea: to start an organization that would support and nurture farm-based education programs.

In 2005, the seed of an idea for the FBEN sprouted at the The Association of Nature Center Administrators’ 2nd Farm Education Symposium in Greenville, Delaware. Then, in May of 2006, the Farm-Based Education Association gathered at Shelburne Farms the first time to discuss how it could support the work of farm-based educators around the world.  Representatives from the following farms and organizations played key roles in launching the association and shepherded it as it grew and evolved: The Farms of the Trustees of Reservations, The Delaware Nature Center & Coverdale Farm, Drumlin Farm, The FARM Institute, The Farm School, Land’s Sake, Shelburne Farms, Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, Stonewall Farm, Pony Farm & Horse Power, and the Spannocchia Foundation.


The Farm-Based Education Association hosted gatherings, developed a website, worked on consulting projects, and established Core Values. The membership grew from 3 people in 2007 to 500 in 2010 to 3,888 today. It moved from an association to a network in 2013 and was nested at Shelburne Farms, where a team of educators continues to help the FBEN fulfill its mission of inspiring, nurturing, and promoting farm-based education. 


The FBEN is a program administered by Shelburne Farms, a nonprofit education organization whose mission is to inspire and cultivate learning for a sustainable future. The FBEN is part of a group of initiatives at Shelburne Farms that are all rooted in strong partnerships and collaboration including VT FEED, the Vermont Farm to School Network, the Northeast Regional Lead for National Farm to School Network, and the Sustainable Schools Project.

Shelburne Farms expands the reach of the FBEN by working in partnership with organizations and agencies locally and around the world. This leverages our impact, advances our understanding of program effectiveness, and builds relationships that cultivate a culture of sustainability.

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