The Grow Your Farm Business Course is for people in the early to mid stages of developing an agricultural business.
Wednesdays January 22 - March 25, 2020
6pm-9pm @ Just Be Cause Center, Ithaca NY
The course is designed as a 9-week intensive. Select sessions are also available for individual enrollment.
Grow Your Farm Business meets every Wednesday, January 22 - March 25, and includes presentations, activities and farmer panels aimed at teaching students the core pieces of planning a farm business: goal setting, matching production to market strategy, assessing feasibility, basic financial and accounting concepts, the legalities of farming, and sources of capital. Woven into the curriculum are the topics of equity and justice in the food systems, including examples of realistic ways to approach these within the scope of your business models. Students enrolled in the 9-week intensive gain access to individual business guidance and consultation from course instructors during and after the course, develop a strong farmer to farmer network and have the opportunity to present personalized farm business plans to instructors and peers in order to receive constructive and individualized feedback.
The Grow Your Farm Business Course is offered on a sliding scale fee structure. The sliding scale for the full course is $100 - $350. A second person from a single farm can come for half price. Select Individual courses are $20-$40 sliding scale each.
Registration for the full course is available here, and registration for individual classes is available here.
Who should enroll?
The 9-week Course is ideal for farmers who:
- Have at least 1 year of hands-on farming experience
- Have a clear business concept in mind or in progress
- Have business goals that include elements of sustainability, equity & viability
- Would like to meet some of the region's successful farmers
- Are interested in meeting other farmers and joining a strong regional network
- Want to learn about local, State & Federal resources to help start or expand a farm business in the Finger Lakes
The Course is taught by a team of business instructors, farmers and social justice leaders. This year's team includes:
Leslie Ackerman, Consultant & Founder, Freelance Business Goddess
Liz Coakley, Incubator Farm Manager, Groundswell Center
Amanda David, Co-Founder, Bramble Apothecary
Alexas Esposito, Farming and Food Justice Program Coordinator, Groundswell Center
Matt LeRoux, Ag Marketing Specialist, CCE Tompkins
Steve Gabriel, Agroforestry Specialist, Cornell Small Farms Program & co-owner Wellspring Forest Farm
Amina Omari, Director, Food Business Incubation Program (FoodBIP)
Mary Kate Wheeler, Farm Business Management Specialist, South Central NY Dairy & Field Crops Team
Natalie Hughes, Development Manager, Groundswell Center
Heather Sandford, Co-founder, The Piggery
"Groundswell's Farm Business Course made me think really hard about how I can create a way to make a living doing what I love, while having a positive impact on others and the environment.”
- Damon, Planning Course and Incubator Farm Graduate, 2014