Building a Sustainable Business Course coming to Rutland

“Building a Sustainable Business” will be offered in three locations – Rutland, St. Johnsbury, and Berlin, Vermont. The course is designed for farmers who are thinking about a new agricultural venture, to diversify their current operation, or to start-up a new farm business. To that end, participants will assess their resources, develop marketing strategies, begin to understand financials, learn how and where to get funding for their businesses, and network with other farmers.

A number of Rutland’s new farmers took this course last year and recommend it to other new farmers.  The best parts of the course?

“spending time with the other new farmers. What a joy that was! Week after week, I looked forward to knowing that the wisdom, honesty and experience among students would make the class interesting and useful”

“working through the exercises in the book – actually having a structure to develop goals, plans, strategies…”  The structure of the class seemed to really help folks flesh out their business plans and think about cash flow, pricing their products, identifing market segments, etc.

Rutland farmers that took the class felt that it was valuable.  One of the downsides is that the instructors weren’t always great at relaying information and were inexperienced with vegetable production (which was many of the farmers’ focus).  So, as with everything, we are all learning together.  The convenience of the class for Rutland area growers is a major bonus, saving time and effort traveling across the state to participate in a training opportunity.

“Building a Sustainable Business” will be offered from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm for 6 weeks on Wednesdays December 1, 8, 15 and January 5, 12, and 19.  The three locations will link up via the internet for part of each class session.

Pre-registration is required as space is limited. The fee is $150 per person.  For people who have participated in the VT Women’s Ag Network course, Growing Places, the fee is $125.  Scholarship assistance is available.  For more information, contact Jessie Schmidt at, or 802-223-2389.

Please register by November 19, 2010. A check or money order reserves your space at the course. To register, send your check, made payable to UVM Extension, Building a Sustainable Business, 617 Comstock Rd, Suite 5, Berlin, VT 05602.  Or, you can find application materials on-line at under “classes.”  If you require accommodations to participate in this program, please let Mary Peabody, or 802-223-2389, know by November 15, 2010 so we may assist you.

University of Vermont Extension and U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.

Vermont Small Business Development Center is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. SBA’s funding is not an endorsement of any products, opinions, or services. SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made at all times in accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and associated amendments.


2 thoughts on “Building a Sustainable Business Course coming to Rutland

  1. We took this class last year and it was really great – we came out of it with a solid business plan that has helped us gauge our progress (and secure two grants and an FSA loan.)

    However, this class does ask for a lot of specific numbers, so it isn’t as good for working through start-up ideas (or if you haven’t kept production or income records in your first years). If you’re at the aspiring or early start-up stage, I’d recommend WAgN’s Growing Places course, which is also awesome and much better for the early planning stages, in our experience (having taken them both).

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