Commercial farmers are those who have committed to growing crops and selling produce as a business — not to be confused with homestead farmers, who grow food primarily for themselves. Groundswell offers advanced courses in technical skills and farm business planning for commercial farmers; students who think they might like to farm someday but haven’t yet committed to farming full-time should check out the Farm Explorers section to find out about Groundswell’s introductory farming programs.
Groundswell’s primary course offerings for commercial farmers are the Farm Business Planning Course, our Technical Farming Workshops, and our Good Agricultural Practices Workshop. The Farm Business Planning Course introduces students to all aspects of farming as a business — everything from bookkeeping to marketing. Our Technical Farming Workshops are designed in collaboration with our Mentor Farmers and teach best practices in specific skills for farming in our region. The Good Agricultural Practices Workshop helps commercial farmers understand and prepare for GAP certification audits in order to maximize their market options.
We also offer Farm Mentor Training for experienced commercial farmers who are interested in mentoring beginner farmers. Our own Mentor Farmers are invaluable for the work that we do; becoming a Mentor Farmer benefits the agricultural community of the Finger Lakes, as well as individual farmers. Follow the link to learn more about the benefits of becoming a Mentor Farmer.
Groundswell’s Farm Business Support Networks are enterprise-specific collaborative groups that meet once a month throughout the season to share skills and information relating to their specialties. Similar to our CRAFT program for beginning farmers, these Support Networks give newer farmers the chance to learn from their more experienced peers and create new opportunites for cooperation.
For additional information related to commercial farming, visit our Farmer Resources section.