Agricultural Business Planning Courses Scheduled for Early ’12

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources is offering workshops January – March of 2012 for those in varying stages of agricultural business.

Explorers – For those who are thinking about getting into farming or expanding a hobby to an income-generating scale, “Exploring the Small Farm Dream” delivers experienced Instructor guidance and timely peer group feedback for making informed decisions about whether and how to proceed in farming. Five sessions over 6 weeks on weekday evenings in Amherst and Marlborough. Cost per enterprise: $125.

Planners – for those a step or two beyond Explorer who have access to land and a stronger sense of what they want and are capable of doing, “Planning for Start-up” provides a gut check before making more significant investments of time and money. Requires completion of Explorer, or prior self-guided completion of the Explorer workbook. Applicants must have already reached the decision to farm on a revenue generating scale. Six session over 8 weeks on Saturday mornings in Amherst and possibly also in Marlborogh based on regions demand. Cost per enterprise: $175.

Established Farmers – For those already operating and agricultural enterprise with at leaset two years of production and sales records, and who need to develop a comprehensive business plan on paper, “Tilling the Soil of Opportunity” offers a chance to assess, regroup, assemble documentions for decision making, consider redirection, plan expansion, or approach ownership transer. This course draws on extensive peer experience, instructor knowledge and guest speakers with the addition of substantial indivuidual technical assistance at course condclusion. 10 sessions over 11 weeks on weekday eveninings in Amherst and Marlborough. Cost per enterprise: $225.

Explorer and Tilling the Soil courses are limited to 12 farms/potential agricultural businesses, with an option to bring a key partner at no extra cost. Planner is limited to 10. Full attendance is require to get expected results. Fees are kept low through MDAR support.

Please request additional details and an application for the course that fits you best. Courses will fill quickly in the Fall. Email requests to Rick.Chandler@state.ma.us, or CLICK HERE

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