Farm Beginnings® Program set to begin Jan. 4 in Syracuse

Dec. 10, 2013

LINCOLN, Neb. — University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension will begin its sixth Farm Beginnings® Program at the First National Bank (basement meeting room) in Syracuse on Jan. 4.

UNL Extension and the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society are facilitating the Farm Beginnings® Program, an educational training and support program designed to help people who want to evaluate and plan their farm enterprise.

Farm Beginnings® participants engage in a mentorship experience and network with a variety of successful, innovative farmers and attend practical, high quality seminars, field days and conferences.

The program is unique in that several successful farmers participate in the program as presenters, explaining firsthand the nuts and bolts of their farming operation.

While any beginning farmer would benefit from attending these training sessions, most of the farmers that present come from small to medium sized farming operations that produce and market many different diversified and value-added products. Many of these farmers direct market their products.

The Farm Beginnings® Program consists of a series of 11 sessions from January through April that cover a variety of topics including: building networks, goal setting, whole farm planning, building your business plan, marketing, business and farm management and financial management.

While the class participants will learn firsthand from the farmers, they also will work on developing their own business plan as they progress through the course.

As part of the class tuition, participants will also have the opportunity to attend the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society’s Healthy Farms Conference at the Younes Conference Center in Kearney Feb. 14-15.

This is a conference that has been held annually for a number of years and has sessions that focus on topics in sustainable agriculture, such as: vegetable production, grass-fed beef, pasture poultry, meat and dairy goat production, composting, cover crops, organic farming, growing crops in high-tunnels, bee keeping, farm transitioning and agri-tourism.

There also is a farm tour in December and tour of several farms in the summer to see how the farmers are operating. If interested, participants also have the opportunity to have a farmer mentor.

Cost of the total program is $500, but you may qualify for a partial scholarship.

For a brochure and an application for the Farm Beginnings® Program go to http://nemaha.unl.edu and scroll down to the Farm Beginnings® article.

For more information about the program contact Gary Lesoing, Extension educator, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension in Nemaha County, at glesoing2@unl.edu or at 402-274-4755.

Gary Lesoing
Extension Educator
Nemaha County
402-274-4755
glesoing2@unl.edu

Sandi Alswager Karstens
IANR News Service
402-472-3030
skarstens2@unl.edu