VT EarthWorks is a business acceleration program designed specifically for agriculture and natural resource-based businesses that serve regional markets. Program services include land for lease, cooperative marketing, peer-to-peer learning networks, business logo development, interviews with potential consumer markets (e.g., restaurants, institutions, farmers markets, etc.), monthly grange hall meetings, and much more. The Growers’ Academy is an 8-week learning series offered on Tuesday nights starting January 19, 2010, from 6 – 9 pm, at the VT Roanoke Center in the Roanoke Higher Education Building in Downtown Roanoke. The learning series is designed to build a peer cohort of producers and to help new and transitioning vegetable and cut-flower businesses succeed. The Growers’ Academy is offered through VT EarthWorks in partnership with Virginia Cooperative Extension. Growers’ Academy topics include goal setting, production planning, vegetable production, soils and cover crops, pest and weed management, business plan development, rotational plantings, equipment, marketing, and more. Each weekly session is presented by subject matter experts, including successful producers. Some key speakers include Mark Schonbeck, Jason Rutledge, Alan Straw, Scott Sink, and many more. Graduates of the Growers’ Academy will receive a preliminary membership to VT EarthWorks. Graduates who do not have access to land will be eligible to gain access to land through VT EarthWorks at the Catawba Sustainability Center in Catawba, VA. Registration for the Academy is $215 per person for the 8-week series. You can register online at http://www.cpe.vt.edu/reg/grac Registration is requested by January 12, 2010. Contact Christy Gabbard, Director of VT Earthworks, at 540-767-6114 or email@example.com, for more information on VT EarthWorks, or to receive a Growers’ Academy flyer and/or registration form. Support for VT EarthWorks has been generously provided by the Blue Moon Fund.