UVM-Ext Workshop Series: Building a Sustainable Business

A strong business plan is key to a successful start for farms, specialty food businesses and other agricultural enterprises. To help ag entrepreneurs get off on the right foot, the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension New Farmer Project is offering a six-session business planning course at five locations this winter.

Register now for the “Early Bird” registration price!

“Building a Sustainable Business” is targeted to start ups and ag businesses less than five years old and is designed to help individuals develop a viable plan tailored to their business interests and needs. It will be offered simultaneously at the UVM Extension offices in Berlin, Brattleboro, Middlebury, St. Albans and St. Johnsbury, beginning Dec. 6.

The curriculum is based on a comprehensive business planning guide developed by the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture and published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program. Participants will learn how to assess their resources, develop marketing strategies and gain a better understanding of the financial side of operating an agricultural business.

Although not a requirement, people who have completed the Growing Places course, also offered through the UVM Extension New Farmer Project, and/or who have at least one year of production or financial records from their business will get the most out of this course.

The registration fee for Growing Places graduates and anyone who registers by Nov.18 is $150. Registrations after that date will be charged an additional fee. Confirmation, directions and other details will be sent upon receipt of payment.

For registration materials, visit the Building a Sustainable Business page or contact Jessie Schmidt at newfarmer@uvm.edu or (802) 223-2389, ext. 203 or (866) 860-1382, ext. 203 (within Vermont). Anyone requiring disability-related accommodations to participate should contact Schmidt by Nov. 22.

Scholarship assistance may be available through the UVM Extension Women’s Agricultural Network’s Vermont Farm Women’s Fund or the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. A link to these resources can be found on the online registration form. In addition, participants may request financial aid by submitting a written request by e-mail to newfarmer@uvm.edu or by regular mail to UVM Extension, attn: New Farmer Project Classes, 617 Comstock Rd., Berlin, VT 05602.

Future course offerings include an Introduction to Ag Financial Management class in February and Taking Stock, a business course for experienced farmers, in March. For details, visit the UVM Extension New Farmer Project web site at www.uvm.edu/newfarmer.

To find information, resources, and links to organizations supporting New Farmers, visit the UVM Extension New Farmer Project.

For more upcoming events and learning opportunities check out our calendar!

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