Farming can be a good economic opportunity as well as a great lifestyle choice. However, success requires farming be viewed as an enterprise that must sustain itself and the farm family for the long term. Beginning farmers must look at their farm like any new business venture, while existing operations considering diversification or expansion must evaluate how changes can affect land, labor, capital, and family resources.
WSU Snohomish County Extension and WSU Clark County Extension, in partnership with Snohomish Conservation District, will offer Cultivating Success: Agricultural Entrepreneurship to help new and current farmers gain skills in business planning, risk management, and direct marketing. The entire course will be offered online using the Zoom platform.
The course runs Tuesday evenings January 11, 2022 through March 29, 2022, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, a total of twelve weeks.
The curriculum features a full line-up of speakers including business professionals, marketing specialists, and successful farm owners with a special emphasis on the financial, risk, and legal issues unique to farm-based businesses. During the course, participants are guided in developing a business plan they can use to help finance and grow a new enterprise or expand an existing farm-based business.
Class size is limited and always fills quickly. Pre-paid registration is required. Cost for the twelve-week course is $200.
Comments from graduates include, “The unique opportunity to hear from fellow successful farmers and business mentors is one of a kind.” “Thank you for saving me from making a $100,000 mistake!” and “The opportunity to evaluate my enterprise and make informed decisions is invaluable, after all the best place to make mistakes is on paper.”
Much of the strength of the Cultivating Success program lies with the network of speakers including farmers, business and marketing professionals, organizations, and others that provide farmer students with the expertise, real-world examples, and resources necessary to develop a successful farm enterprise.
Facilitators for the course include Bobbi Lindemulder, cattle rancher and District Operations Program Manager for the Snohomish Conservation District; Kate Ryan, grower and Agriculture Program Coordinator for WSU Snohomish County Extension; and Terry Koper, Small Acreage Program Coordinator for WSU Clark County Extension. Course sponsors include Snohomish Conservation District and Snohomish County Farm Bureau.