• 06Jul

    Farm Planning, Marketing and Management Online Course

    The UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture is offering a new class (STOCKSCH 297 FP) in farm planning, marketing and management from July 7 – August 15, 2014 online.  The course is appropriate for experienced farmers but will be especially useful for those who hope to start a farming operation in the future.  The complexity of whole farm planning is covered through agricultural business planning, organizational design, decision making, leadership and management (employees, systems and record keeping).

    For information or to register, see: http://sustfoodfarm.org/online-classes/farm-planning/

    Questions may be directed to the instructor, Renee Ciulla at: begreen618@hotmail.com

    While the class officially begins on July 7, anyone registered will have access to course materials on Monday, June 30 to allow you to make sure this course is for you.

    The cost is $371/credit and it is a 3 credit college level class.  Finally, the course may be used toward the 15-credit Certificate in Sustainable Food and Farming.

  • 19Apr

    Marketing for Profit: Tools for Success Free Course for Farmers

    Online Course Materials and Notes Available for Educators to Use Free

    The Farmers Market Federation of NY and the NY Farm Viability Institute are cosponsoring an online course in Marketing aimed at farmers called Marketing for Profit: Tools for Success.  This program is funded by USDA SARE’s NE Professional Development Program and hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension Broome County.

    There is no charge for the course which can be taken by farmers at their convenience asynchronously and is accessible any time, day or night.  Participants do not have to follow a specific schedule which makes it easier for farmers to participate since they can move through the course at their own pace.  The course materials are also available at no charge for use by extension educators or other educators who wish to use the materials to teach this as an in-person class.

    The curriculum includes the following five components, or modules: Self-Assessment, Market Assessment, Customer Assessment, Communications Assessment, and Business Assessment.  Within each module there are three sessions which include a video of each live presentation, Q & A documents, glossary of terms, links to additional resources, an online discussion forum, homework assignments, and a quiz.  By completing all five modules, farmers will be able to learn essential marketing skills to analyze their personal and business capacity, determine optimal marketing channels, build their customer base, and increase their sales and profits.  After completing the course, participants will have all the knowledge needed to create their complete farm business and marketing plan.

    Successful completion of all sessions within each of the 5 components including the assignments and quizzes will earn the participant a Certificate of Achievement.  In addition, farmers who complete the course in its entirety will be eligible for borrower training credits through the USDA Farm Services Agency.

    To register for this free online curriculum to help farmers increase their marketing skills and grow their business, go to: http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/work-shop-programs/online-marketing-for-profit-course.html

    For more information on the curriculum, on teaching the course to groups of farmers, or on using the course to qualify for borrower training credits, please contact the Farmers Market Federation office at 315-637-4690.

  • 08Apr

    An urban agriculture distance learning (online) course series has been developed for 2014 as part of the elective offerings in partnership between Ryerson University and the Resources Centre on Urban Agriculture and Food Security in the Netherlands. The instructors for these courses are international.

    The current course offerings for Spring-Summer session 2014 are:

    ·         Concepts and Principles of Food security (CFNY403)

    ·         Food Policy and Programs in Food Security (CFNY404)

    ·         Community Development and Food Security (CFNY407)

    ·         Urban Agriculture Types (CVFN412)

    ·         Urban Agriculture Policy Making (CVFN413)

    For more information on the courses and how to register, contact Reg Noble (Academic Coordinator) at food@ryerson.ca.

  • 17Mar

    Chickens 101: Raising chickens for eggs, meat and profit – A beginning farmer course in Northern Michigan

    Introduction to Broilers
    Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 6 to 7:30pm
    Bellaire Community Hall, 201 N. Bridge Street, Bellaire, Michigan

    Learn how to grow delicious and nutritious chicken in a small scrap of space. Pepper Bromelmeier and Tom Brown will discuss how to keep birds healthy and safe from predators.

    Raising Layers on Pasture
    Tuesday, May 6, 2014 6 to 8pm
    Bluestem Farm, 4218 Adams Rd, East Jordan, Michigan

    Tour Bluestem Farm and learn how to pasture chickens to produce delicious eggs and healthy soils. Housing designs included.

    Raising Broilers on Pasture
    Saturday, June 28, 2014 1 to 3pm, 2014
    Raven’s Roost Farm, 2398 Vandermark Rd, Bellaire

    Tour Raven’s Roost Farm‘s managed intensive rotational grazing. See the chicken tractor in action, tour the Chicken Coupe (the MDA certified poultry processing trailer), and get hands-on experience slaughtering a chicken (and take the chicken home). Feed plans and housing designs included. $30 includes processed chicken. Space is limited, so please register for this workshop.

    For more information and to register, contact Jeannie Voller at (231) 622-5252 or jeannie@artmeetsearth.org

  • 08Apr

    Vegetable Breeding Intensive Short Course at Baia Nicchia Farm in Sunol, California, 2013

    Register by email at basil@ecologycenter.org $50, worktrade & student discounts are available, pay with check or paypal (use donation button on the right) at: http://basilseedlibrary.com/event/vegetable-breeding-intensive-short-course

    Fred Hempel is an organic farmer and plant breeder at Baia Nicchia farm. He breeds tomatoes squash, peppers, & mustard. He sells his own & Ethiopian vegetable varieties through Artisan Seeds. He has released multiple tomato
    varieties that are sold through partnerships with wholesale producers and seed companies. The course will cover:

    - Planning and Tools for Data Assessment:  gather materials; preliminary experiments; prioritize important traits for plant selection
    - Seed Saving and Introduction to Reproductive Biology (inbreeding, outcrossing, vegetative propagation, ect.)
    - Principles of Selection: what to look out for in order to get the results you want, recognizing mutations, natural crossing between garden neighbors, and line variation b) Selection for, or against, recognized traits.
    - Introduction to Cross-pollination, and How to create your own Hybrid
    - An analysis of Hybrids
    - Post-hybrid selection for new open-pollinated varieties.
    - Selection and data organization
    - Politics of Seed: Intellectual property, distribution issues and return-on-investment:  Implications for the use of varieties in breeding, and for paying for your breeding activities.


  • 26Mar

    Agroecology FieldIn 2013, for only the second time in its history, the International Agroecology Short course will be held in Vermont. From July 7th-20th, 2013, participants from around the world will gather at UVM to learn about “Agroecological Approaches for Climate Change and Food Systems Resilience.”

    What is agriculture’s role in contributing to climate change? What are opportunities within agriculture to mitigate or adapt to a changing climate? When we talk about agriculture, do we mean smallholder farmers, industrial agriculture or both? These questions will be on the table during the 14th Annual International Agroecology Shortcourse, where the theme is the application of agroecological approaches to support resilience to climate change and promote robust, sustainable food systems. Farmers are constantly innovating in their daily practice, and much can be learned by identifying and analyzing existing agricultural management strategies that have the potential to adapt to and/or mitigate climate changes. By integrating ecological and social sciences with farmer’s knowledge, agroecologists believe it is possible to both design and manage more sustainable agri-food systems and address global environmental change.

    For more information, view the course poster or the full course description.

    Please note, there is just a month left for participants to take advantage of the discounted early registration offers, which end on April 15th.  Additional information is available on our website:  www.uvm.edu/~agroecol/?Page=shortcourse.html&SM=coursessubmenu.html

  • 22Mar


    “The program at Hampshire completely aligns with my future plans of going into food & agriculture policy. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I am so grateful I was able to experience it!” – Food, Farm, and Sustainability Institute student, 2012

    We are thrilled to announce the second annual Food, Farm, and Sustainability Institute at Hampshire College, a six week summer academic program designed for undergraduate students interested in sustainable agriculture and food studies. Please forward this email to anyone you know who might be interested in applying!

    From June 3 to July 12, students will be immersed in the study and practice of sustainable agriculture, guided by the overarching theme of “New England Terroir”—the conditions in which a food is grown or produced and that give the food its unique characteristics—as a way to contextualize the flavors of our fields and soils in our food.

    To learn more, and find out how to apply, click the “read more” button. Read more »

  • 15Jan

    Urban Farming in New YorkOne-Acre Farm in Brooklyn Offers Intensive Urban Farming Training Course for Aspiring Farmers, 2013

    Ever dreamed of converting a vacant lot or a rooftop into a thriving farm? While many hopeful farmers begin their careers as apprentices on rural farms, now, opportunities to learn the bevy of skills necessary for starting and running successful urban farms are cropping up in the heart of New York City.

    This year, the city’s largest school farm – the Youth Farm – will offer an 8 month training program for adults who want to get dirty and explore careers in organic agriculture and food justice. Apprentices pay on a sliding scale, and leave with a Certificate in Urban Farming. Read more »

  • 20Oct

    The 2013 DTN University Master Marketing short course is designed for intermediate-level grain and soybean marketers who want to expand their skills beyond simple forward cash contracts.

    Participants will increase their knowledge of marketing styles that have returned better than season-average performances over time. The goal is to provide operators with tools they need to implement an effective, written marketing plan for the year ahead and to incorporate this plan with their crop insurance purchases. This should be an especially valuable skill for young farmers who need documentation to secure the best rates and terms for their credit lines. Read more »

  • 15Mar

    Exploring the Small Farm Dream: Are you considering launching a small-farm  enterprise, but not sure where to start? This course is for you!

    When and Where: April 11, 18, and 25 and May 2, 2012; 6:15—9:15 PM; Lehigh County Agricultural Center, 4184 Dorney Park Road, Room 104 Allentown, Pennsylvania,  18104

    Course Schedule: Session I: Expressing Farm Dreams and Evaluating Goals; Session II: Researching the Landscape, Assessing Resources and Risk; Session III: Decision-Making and Identifying the Next Steps; Session IV: Putting it All Together

    Exploring the Small Farm Dream is a course for people who are thinking about starting a farm.  Presented by Penn State Extension, the course helps aspiring farmers learn what it would take to start and manage their own agricultural enterprises, and decide whether this the right path for them.

    The Explorer course takes a learner-centered approach to exploring agriculture as a career.  As a participant in the course, you will be guided through an in depth self-assessment process, designed to help you identify the specific aptitudes, interests, skills and resources that you can bring to your new farm business.  You will receive support through the process of researching opportunities in agriculture.  And you will meet other serious gardeners, livestock enthusiasts, and entrepreneurs who are also asking themselves, “is farming right for me?”

    If you dream of starting a farm but are not sure where to start, Exploring the Small Farm Dream is the ideal learning and networking opportunity for you!

    Registration deadline: March 26th

    For more information, info about other locations, and to register: visit extension.psu.edu/start-farming or contact your local course facilitator Tianna tdupont@psu.edu (610) 746-1970.

    To find out about other beginning farmer training programs visit:

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