Class Schedule

2016-2017 Farm Beginnings Class Schedule

Down a Rural Road


Session 1: Whole Farm Planning 101
Jan. 7th
Key messages:  Introduction to Course, DRA – Profitability/Sustainability – Triple Bottom Line Social/Environmental/Financial – Holistic Goal –Quality of Life/Forms of Production/Future Resource Base – Ecosystem Processes – Holistic Management –Leveraging Tools/Testing Guidelines/Whole Under Management – Group Activity—Enterprise Brainstorming
Session 2: Whole Farm Planning 201
Jan. 21st
Key Messages: Decision Making: Holistic Decision Making – Testing Guidelines – Monitoring – Feedback Loop – Monitoring Your Whole Farm Plan – Quality of Life Objectives – Visioning: – Three-Legged Stool – Rating your passion and skills – SWOT Analysis – 5-year Plan Sketch – Next Year Farm Dream
Session 3: Business Planning
Feb. 4th
Key Messages:  Part 1: Adding Passion to Your Financial Mgmt – Trinity of Management – Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs – Why Are You Developing a Business Plan – Checklist for Going into Business – Organizing and Writing Your Business Plan – Business Plan Template
Part 2: Planning Your Business – Annual Planning Documents – Enterprise Budget Break-Even Analysis
Session 4: Financial Planning 101
Feb 18th
Key Messages: PART 1:Understanding Money Beliefs – Financial Planning Skills Questionnaire – Home Budget – Planned and Actual Income and Expense – Farm Budget (Actual example) – Start-up costs worksheet – Budget Breakdown for Upcoming Season – 3-year Budget Projection
PART 2: Plan, Monitor, Control, Replain – Safe vs. Danger Zones – Planning for Profit – Labor Requirements – Enterprise Budgets – Model Enterprise Budget Activity
Session 5: Financial Planning 201
March 4th
Key Messages:  Financial Realities and Planning – Using Your Unreasonable Advantage – Return on Investment (ROI) – Gross Profit Analysis
Ideas—transfer activities from previous class to this one—enterprise budgets?  When to do balance sheet/income statement?  FFF—“Ratios”, Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Assessing and Understanding Cash Flow, Enterprise Budgets
Session 6: Marketing 101
March 18th
Key Messages:  Marketing Your Way – Marketing Basics/Marketing Crash Course – Creating a Marketing Plan
Session 7: Marketing 201
April 1st
This session focuses on providing real-life examples from a wide range of marketing strategies.  A variety of farmers, farms, and retail agencies are featured in a panel discussion.  Key Messages:  Marketing stories from the field
Session 8: Community Resources
April 29th
The final two sessions focus on getting course participants ready to step out on their own.  The time is used to help participants move from planning to action.  This is done through connecting course participants with resources in the community, giving them knowledge of the resources available to help beginning farmers, and providing knowledge of the ways they can get involved in their communities.
Session 9: Student Presentations
May 13th
Session 9 provides a forum for course participants to share their plans and get specific feedback.  Students should demonstrate a clear plan of action and will receive feedback and ideas from other course participants and established farmers.
Session 10:
Connecting with Mentors
May 27th
The course participants will have the opportunity to sit down 1-1 with farmer mentors and ask questions, network, and use the farmers as a resource.

All classes will be held at the Bakery in Sioux Falls, located at 910 N. Main Avenue.

Here is a link to their site if you’d like to learn more about what they have to offer:





On-Farm Education: May-September

1) Farm Tours and Skills Sessions (Dates TBD)
2) 1-1 Mentorship for those who are ready


End of Class Celebration:  Late Summer/Early Fall