Need guidance on developing or expanding a farm enterprise? Can't find any trainings near you?
If you're comfortable enough with a computer and have Web access, consider learning online. Cornell's Small Farms Program and Cooperative Extension are expanding offerings of their online courses for beginning farmers with two new offering,
The courses are led by experienced Extension instructors and 25 farmers. They incorporate self-paced readings plus real-time virtual meetings with discussion forums, homework activities, guest presenters, and developing a customized plan for your next steps in farming. Here's a quick summary of the courses:
BF 110: Soil Health Basics: Investing in the Vitality of Your Farm
Covers soil health and productivity via a holistic approach to preserving and building soil health and fertility. This course will incorporate a face-to-face field day hosted by the Northeast Organic Farming Association at instructor David Belding's Cross Island Farms on Wellesley Island, N.Y, 4pm-7pm Oct 18th. The field day fee is covered by the course registration cost.
BF 104: Financial Record-keeping: A Cornerstone of Farm Profitability
Focuses on good record-keeping, the foundation of sound financial management. It's crucial for making business decisions about what you produce and marketing effectiveness. The revenue you earn will disappear if you don't understand how to collect, monitor, save, spend, or invest it. This 6-week course will provide you with insight, understanding and the technological know-how to produce financial records and a beginning knowledge of analyzing financial statements.
BF 101: Taking Stock: Evaluating Land and Resources, Choosing an Enterprise
Evaluating what you want to do and what you have to work with are key. This course helps you take the first steps toward setting goals, assessing available resources (physical, financial, and personal), and deciding what enterprises are the best fit. Each participant will be gathering information about their own enterprise and begin creating a farm plan.
Courses run from Thursday, Oct 14 to Wednesday. Nov 24. All are live webinars. See link below for webinar dates and details. The cost is $150 per course, except for the soil health course. That's $165.
To register or for more information, visit: www.nybeginningfarmers.org/index.php?page=onlinecourse .