2021 Farm Beginnings Class Schedule-



Session 1: Whole Farm Planning 101 Feb. 13th 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 Feb. 27th 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 March 13th 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 March 27th 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 April 10th 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 April 24th Key Messages: Marketing Your Way – Marketing Basics/Marketing Crash Course – Creating a Marketing Plan
Session 7: Marketing 201 May 8th 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 May 22nd 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 tbd 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
tbd 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.


On-Farm Education: May-September

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

End of Class Celebration:  Late Summer/Early Fall