Farm Business Planning Courses


Developing your Farm or Food Business

Tuesdays, January 24th, 31st, February 7th, 14th, 21st, 6:00-9:00 PM
Ithaca, NY 14850
Fee: $150

This 5-session course is specifically for people in the early stages of developing a farm or food business.  Whether you are just launching your business or have been operating a few years and want to become more strategic in how you move forward, this course will help you expand and increase viability and social impacts.

This course covers:

  • The local farm and food sector including unmet needs, opportunities and niche markets.
  • Equity issues and justice in the food system including examples of realistic ways to approach these within the scope of your business model.
  • Experience from farm and food entrepreneurs about business startup and lessons learned.
  • Tools for business assessment, strategic planning, understanding liabilities and legalities.
  • Setting business goals and taking stock of resources and progress to date.
  • Accounting and financial planning concepts and tools
  • Develop a marketing plan and marketing channels.

Instructors: Leslie Ackerman, independent Business Consultant formerly with the Alternatives Federal Credit Union Business Cents program; Matt LeRoux, Cooperative Extension Agriculture Marketing Specialist; Monika Roth, Cooperative Extension Agriculture Program Leader; Kate Cardona, Groundswell Center Outreach and Program Coordinator; regional farm and food business entrepreneurs, other visiting experts  The course will be facilitated by Mary Kate Wheeler, Groundswell Center Board Member.

Location:  All classes will be held at the Just BeCause Center located at 1013 West State St. in Ithaca starting at 6 PM until 9 PM.

Fee: $150. Tuition assistance available; see contact info. below.


STEP 1Register online  or come by the Groundswell Center office, 225 S Fulton Street, Ithaca.

STEP 2Pay Tuition here or mail a check to our office, made out to CTA – Groundswell. Note: If tuition assistance is needed please fill out the requisite information on the form, and wait to pay until your assistance eligibility is determined.

Questions about the course, please contact or call 607-319-5095.


Local Farm/Food Businesses with past participants of our program…

2JM Farm • Bici CocinaCayuga Pure OrganicsCayuta Sun FarmChallenge Workforce Solutions/Ability in BloomCrooked CarrotFellenz Family FarmFull Plate Farm • Heritage Haus FarmHumble Hill FarmInterbrook Farm • Mainstreet Farms • Ndor EcovilliageRoaming Root • Treegate FarmVan Noble Farm • Youth Farm Project