Missouri Beginning Farmer Training, Education, Mentorship

Educational opportunities are offered in four different ways. One is the Grow Your Farm program, a three to four month training program designed for prospective farmers and beginners with some experience who want to make a "new beginning" with alternative farming methods. MU Extension specialists and experienced, innovative farmers teach eight seminars with three farm tours. Educational Workshops are held 4-6 times during the summer and fall. These workshops cover various topics from vegetable and fruit production to marketing, operating equipment and small livestock production and others. Returning to the Farm is a course designed to help young people return to the farm as a viable career. The focus is on planning and financial management which is useful for all new farmers. Finally, we are developing Mentoring Opportunities that help new and beginning farmers connect with experienced farmers through real-time and online discussion of problems, opportunities and solutions.

To keep up-to-date on these activities be sure to check out the following: In September 2009, the University of Missouri and Jefferson Institute were awarded a $730,00 grant to provide educational opportunities to Missouri’s new and beginning farmers to grow their farms in economically viable and ecologically sustainable ways. The grant is part of the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. Our project teaches production and management strategies that enhance land stewardship, business planning and financial viability, and marketing strategies. We offer programs in 4 regions of the state.

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