(607) 319-5095 - info@groundswellcenter.org

Grow Your Farm Business Course

The Grow Your Farm Business Course is for people in the early to mid stages of developing an agricultural business.

Wednesdays January 16 - March 20, 2019
6pm-9pm @Just Be Cause Center, Ithaca NY

The course is designed as a 10-week intensive, however, sessions are also available for individual enrollment.

Grow Your Farm Business meets every Wednesday, January 16 - March 20, 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 10-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. Individual courses are $20 each. Payment plan options available. See registration form below for more information.

2019 Schedule

January 16: Introduction to Farm Business Planning: Why Farm in the Finger Lakes?, Legalities, and Logistics
January 23: Goal Setting & Holistic Management Approach
January 30: Financial I: Accounting Basics and Financial Feasibility
February 6: Financial II: Financial Management, Budgets, and Funding Sources
February 13: Farmer Panel
February 20: Justice in Your Farm Business
February 27: Branding and Writing a Marketing Plan
March 6: Marketing Channels and Marketing on Social Media
March 13: A Storytelling Approach to Building an Enterprise Budget
March 20: Farm Business Student Presentations (This session is only for cohort students taking the 10-week series)

“HEARING FROM FARMERS [during the Farmer Panel of the course] WHO HAVE VARYING DEGREES OF EXPERIENCE WAS VERY HELPFUL. I ESPECIALLY ENJOYED HEARING ABOUT SOCIAL AND FOOD JUSTICE. IT WAS VERY INSPIRING” -

 - Farm Business Planning Course 2018 Graduate

Who should enroll?

The 10-week Course is ideal for farmers who:

  • Have >1 year of hands-on production experience
  • Have a clear business concept in mind or in progress
  • Business goals that include elements of sustainability, equity & viability
  • Have enough time to fully commit to research and homework outside of the course
  • 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

Register now for all 10-weeks

Stay tuned to register for individual sessions

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The Instructors

The Course is taught by a team of business instructors, farmers and social justice leaders. This year's team includes:

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Heather Sandford, Co-Owner, The Piggery

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Amanda David, Co-Founder, Bramble Apothecary

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Matt LeRoux, Ag Marketing Specialist, CCE Tompkins

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Erica Frenay, Owner, Shelterbelt Farm

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Krystal Zwiesineyi Chindori, Holistic Management Educator, Groundswell Advisory Board

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Steve Gabriel, Agroforestry Specialist, Cornell Small Farms Program, co-owner Wellspring Forest Farm

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Leslie Ackerman, Consultant & Founder, Freelance Business Goddess

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Laura Arias, Food Justice Educator, Youth Farm Project, Groundswell Advisory Board

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Eizabeth Couse,  Community Food Advocate, Youth Farm Project

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Liz Coakley,  Incubator Farm Manager, Groundswell Center

Thanks To Our Sponsors!

Interested in getting your company name out in front of a large audience of Finger Lakes farmers?

Become a Grow Your Farm Business Sponsor Today!

Contact us for more info.

"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

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