Washington State University Snohomish County Extension is offering a 12-week course on Cultivating Success: Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Farm Business Planning, running from Jan. 17-Apl. 17 to help farmers sharpen skills in business planning and direct marketing.
The classes will be held on Tuesday evenings at the WSU Snohomish County Extension's Cougar Auditorium in McCollum Park, 600 128th St. SE in Everett, Wash.
For farmers wanting to capture their portion of the 'buy local' movement, the course will offer how-to information on getting involved for established as well as newcomer producers.
New farmers are urged to look at their farm like any new business venture, and existing companies may want to consider diversification to get involved in the local food movement, says Andrew Corbin, Snohomish County Extension educator.
The course is intended to be an in-depth probe of direct marketing, he says, which will cover evaluation of resources, planning, research, legal and management issues, market strategies, budgets and financial statements. Instructors will also discuss cultivation of money resources.
'The value received from the speakers, networking, and resources helps farmers make smart business decisions,' says Corbin, who says a recent graduate of a similar course says the information saved the farmer from making a $100,000 mistake.
The course features a host of local guest speakers, including bankers, business professionals, and successful farm owners with a special emphasis on the financial and legal issues unique to a farm business. During the course, students are assisted in developing a business plan they can take to bankers to finance new enterprises or expand farm business.
The class is limited to 20 farms. Prepaid registration is required at $275. To register, visit http://bit.ly/xyCfse to pay with credit cards. Forms may be downloaded at http://bit.ly/AxEcff which can be mailed with check payments. For more information, contact Karie (cq) Christensen at (425) 357-6012 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information about the course, go to www.cultivatingsuccess.org.
The course if funded with a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant via the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, as well as the Snohomish Conservation District.