Only 3 spots left for Business Strategies for New Farmers workshop!

Hey folks – a heads up that there are only three spots left for the next New Farmer Workshop, Wednesday August 11!

Business Strategies and Cheese
Wednesday, August 11 • 5 – 7pm
Blue Ledge Farm, Leicester
Pre-registration required (limit 20) – register for this workshop online, by sending an email to or by calling 434-4122. Workshops are free.

The third in a series of six training workshops for new farmers will be held on Wednesday August 11 at Blue Ledge Farm in Leicester Vermont.  The workshop will be held from 5 to 7 pm.  Get a behind-the-scenes tour of Blue Ledge Farm as Greg Bernhart and Hannah Sessions extrapolate on what it takes to start and maintain a farmstead cheese operation. We will discuss equipment needs and costs for both the dairy and cheese production areas, value added ideas, and labor needs. They will “crunch the numbers” as to size and profit. Blue Ledge Farm was established in 2000 and now produces 40,000 pounds of artisanal cheese annually from the milk of their own 80 goats as well as two other area farms. Participants may purchase cheese after the workshop.

The Beginning Farmer Workshop Series is geared towards new farmers that are still “learning the ropes” to succeeding in agriculture – whether they are still interning, just beginning their farm business, or are full or part-time farmers with less than 10 years of experience.  The workshops cover a range of skills that often challenge new farmers.  Those attending the workshops will learn about marketing and business strategies,  building healthy soils, farm equipment safety and maintenance, crop planning and pest and disease management.

The workshops are sponsored by the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL) and the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) and will be held every other Wednesday on farms around the Rutland Region.

Other workshops in the series include “Farm Equipment Primer: Safety and Types of Equipment for Small Farms” on August 25th, “Crop Planning: Succession Planting and Diversification Choices” on September 8th and “Organic Pest and Disease Management” on September 22.

After the August 25th workshop, make plans to stay late and join RAFFL for our Summer New Farmer Mixer and NOFAvore Celebration.  NOFA’s mobile pizza oven will be cranking out pizzas made with local ingredients. All new and aspiring farmers are invited to come mix, mingle, and meet new farming friends.  Folks are asked to pre-registration for the mixer, so we have enough pizza on hand for everyone!

Workshop details, directions and information on the host farms can be found on RAFFL’s website,, by emailing or by calling India Burnett Farmer, RAFFL Program Director at 802-417-7331.  Be sure to check the details on those workshops you are most interested in – some require pre-registration!

The Rutland Area Farm and Food Link is a non-profit supporting the growth of a thriving agricultural system that connects local farms with the communities and consumers of the Rutland Region.  The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont is a nonprofit association of farmers, gardeners, and consumers working to promote an economically viable and ecologically sound Vermont food system for the benefit of current and future generations.


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