Cornell Online Fall Courses

Marketing to Make Money: Two Fall Online Courses for Experienced or Aspiring Farmers

Most people get into farming for the love of growing good food, without much thought for how they will sell what they grow, what prices they’ll be able to get, or whether they will be able to earn enough to keep doing what they love. The topic of marketing is so important for new and experienced growers that the Cornell Small Farms Program is devoting two online courses to it this November: BF 102: Markets and Profits – Exploring the Feasibility of Your Farming Ideas and BF 201: Marketing Planning.

BF 102: Markets and Profits is an intro-level course. This course is for you if you are a new or aspiring farmer with lots of enterprise ideas, but still need to explore the details of how you will sell your bounty and whether your products will generate enough profit to support the farm long-term. You are much more likely to be successful (and preserve your sanity) if you think carefully about these things before you get in over your head. What works well for one farmer may not work at all for you! Success hinges on developing the right product mix for your soil, markets, skills, and interests. This course will help you create enterprise budgets customized to your operation, begin to explore concepts around branding and selling your products, and consider the pros and cons of marketing via farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture models, farm stands, restaurants, wholesale, and more. Read the complete course description and register here:

BF 201: Marketing Planning is a more advanced course. It is for you if you have already done the initial explorations about the right products and markets for your farm, and are ready to dive in deeper to be even more strategic as your farm operation grows. Invest in the future of your farm by spending time this Fall learning about using cost of production to help calculate your prices, what marketing research can do for you, and how to position your farm in the increasingly competitive “local foods” marketplace. Each week of the course covers one section of the Marketing Plan, which you can complete and get feedback on from your instructors as you go. Read the complete course description and register here:

Both courses are six weeks long. BF 102 runs from Nov. 8 – Dec. 13 with webinars every Thurs. evening (except Thanksgiving), while BF 201 runs from Nov. 13 – Dec. 18, with webinars every Tues. evening. Participants will get to network and learn from fellow students with similar interests, get feedback and guidance on their plans from their instructors, and hear lessons learned from successful farmers. The courses are $200 each. Participants successfully completing all aspects of either course will receive a certificate.

You’ll find details about other upcoming online courses, including Berry Production, Poultry Production, Financial Record-keeping, and Growing Veggies at


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