• 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:

  • 13Mar

    Newforest Instititure presents their 2012 Permaculture Design Certificate Course in Maine

    Permaculture Garden PictureDesign for True Resilience in Maine; Course Includes: Edible Landscapes & Food Forests; Energy-Efficiency & Green Building; Food Preservation & Storage; City/ Suburbs/Rural Applications; Hands-On Projects & Design Practica; and more…

    When: June 23 – July 1 and August 26 – September 2, 2012

    This in-depth, comprehensive course takes place over two week-long sessions allowing students to experience permaculture in practice over a whole season.  Tuition includes accommodations & delicious, home-cooked meals straight from the garden.  Students will create their own permaculture designs and graduate as certified permaculture designers.

    Permaculture: (n)  a set of skills & techniques for creating sustainable human environments. Offers positive solutions to the problems facing the world by using ecology as the basis of designing interconnected systems for food production, housing, technology & community.

    When:Unique split-week course, Saturday June 23-Sunday, July 1 & Sunday August 26- Sunday September 2to enjoy the bounty of our garden harvest during early & late summer
    Where:Newforest Institute, 66 Monroe Highway in Brooks, Maine  and field trips to nearby permaculture demonstration sites including home-scale forest gardens & school gardens.
    Cost:$1,350 includes all course sessions, handouts, lunches & refreshments, field trips, guest speakers & certification.$250 deposit required to hold your spot (space is limited to 18).   $100 discount for early registration by April 22.
    Who:Charles & Julia Yelton, of Humastacia Permaculture Gardens in Sicily. Formerly of Crystal Waters Permaculture Village in Queensland, Australia, the Yeltons have traveled & lectured throughout the world for the last 17 years.

    Register today! Contact Newforest at 207-722-3625, info@newforestinstitute.org

    To learn more about permaculture and other organizations that promote and teach it, visit: http://www.beginningfarmers.org/permaculture-resources/

  • 03Jan

    Eight Day Permaculture Design Certificate Course at Solid Ground Farm in Athens, Ohio
    Join Wayne Weismen and the Permaculture Project for a weeklong ecological design immersion       Sunday March 18 – Sunday March 25, 2012

    Solid Ground FarmExplore the concepts, theories, and practice of Permaculture design.  Experience Permaculture applied directly to the Midwest, as you live and learn with practicing ecological designers on Solid Ground Farm.   Discover the interrelations of natural building, sustainable agriculture, biomimicry,  broad-scale site design, local economies, local ecosystems, earthworks and waterways.  Sure to be an exciting week of on-site projects, lectures, special guest teachers, site walks around the area, and fun nightly activities from African drumming lessons, to Capoeira and yoga classes.  Come join the fun.

    Cost:  $800-1000 (sliding scale) base fee includes space for onsite camping, three meals a day, textbook and access to online resources, and a certificate from The Permaculture Project, LLC.  For offsite accommodations please  contact us.  Pre-registration required. Register by sending a check written out to RAW (along with your name, address, phone number and email) to Solid Ground Farm, 13262 Liars Corner Rd, Millfield, Ohio  45761.  For more information, contact Weston Lombard at 740-856-6299 or westonlombard@gmail.com or visit http://www.solidgroundfarm.com.  Space is limited.

  • 12Dec

     The New Entry Sustainable Farming Project will be offering two versions of its flagship Farm Business Planning Course this winter (2012):

    Learn to develop and plan for your farm business in either a classroom or a web-based learning environment! The course will cover all aspects of planning for the long-term financial success of your farm business, including how to:

    • Select farm enterprises, and develop a business plan and enterprise budgets;
    • Identify and research the markets in your area, and how to promote your farm products;
    • Find and evaluate the materials, equipment, and additional information and resources you will need as a farmer; and
    • Develop a crop or livestock production plan and schedule that follows your marketing and business plan

    Option 1: Classroom-Based Farm Business Planning Course
    Dates: January 10th through February 21st, Tuesday evenings 6-9pm
    Location: Middlesex Community College in Lowell, MA
    Course fee: $400 (scholarships available)

    For more information and to apply, please visit http://nesfp.nutrition.tufts.edu/training/farmbusiness.html. Questions? Email sanderson@comteam.org or call 978-654-6745.

    Option 2: Online Farm Business Planning Course
    Dates: January 8th through March 4th
    Flexible schedule and location with 2 mandatory classroom sessions on the first and last days of the course in downtown Boston
    Course fee: $500 (scholarships available)

    For more information and to apply, please visit http://nesfp.nutrition.tufts.edu/training/distancelearn.html. Questions? Email maura.beaufait@tufts.edu or call 978-654-6745. Read more »

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