is your future in farming?
12-week course starts Sept 20 in Everett.
Growing New Farmers Critical to Regional Food Security
Ensuring there are enough people with the skills to step into the shoes of retiring farmers is the focus of 12-week course.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while the number of farmers continues to shrink, their average age continues to rise. Almost 40 percent of the farmers in this country are at least 55 years old. Without a steady stream of new farmers to replace them, the future of farming is not at all certain. While interest in small acreage farming and ranching increases each season, many of these new farmers have few opportunities to gain the skills for success.
To help fill that need, and make the connection between farmers new and old, a collaborative effort developed the award-winning Cultivating Success series of courses. First in the series, the 12-week course Sustainable Small-Acreage Farming and Ranching will be held on Tuesdays, 6:00pm to 9:00pm starting Sept. 20, 2011 at WSU Snohomish County Extension's Cougar Auditorium, 600 128th St SE, Everett.
Sustainable Small-Acreage Farming and Ranching helps participants explore the unique advantages available to the small farm and ranch owner. Sponsored by WSU Snohomish County Extension and Snohomish Conservation District, the course gives participants a broad overview of production and marketing options for today's small farm. Whether you are just exploring the opportunities available or already have an existing operation, you'll learn what it takes to create and sustain a viable small farm enterprise.
According to recent Cultivating Success graduates Casey and Eric Reeter, they took the course to, "check our 'hypothetical' plans against the experts and those who have practical experience...we [now have] the confidence and resources to take some risks and dive in to our new farm adventure." They executed their farm plan and are currently in production. Casey checks their field operations against the overall plan to ensure they stay on course with their goals. "The plan we created in class acts as a compass for us; we make adjustments along the way, but we always know our direction."
Weekly presentations include local growers, organizations, and university specialists with expertise in direct marketing, value-added processing, production planning, agronomy, livestock production, and more. In addition, two Saturday field trips will visit nearby farms to learn about different styles of successful small farm enterprises.
Course facilitator, Holly Thompson, is a Stanwood Angus beef rancher and WSU graduate in animal science and agriculture economics with an MS in agriculture education. Well-versed in farm economics, sustainable practices, and current market trends, Thompson also facilitates Agricultural Entrepreneurship, the farm business planning course in the series and has worked for Northwest Farm Credit Services as a loan officer.
Class size is limited. Cost for the twelve-week course is $275 per farm or family.
Pre-registration is required. Download the form HERE and mail with your check. For more information on the course, contact Andrew Corbin at [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] or (425) 357-6012. Contact Karie Christensen,
[email protected] [mailto:[email protected]], (425) 357-6039 for registration information.
Extension programs and policies are consistent with federal and state laws and regulations on nondiscrimination regarding race, color, gender, national origin, religion, age, disability, and sexual orientation. Evidence of non-compliance may be reported through your local Extension Office.Persons with a disability requiring special accommodation can request accommodation 21 days before training at (425) 338.2400. If accommodation is not requested in advance, we cannot guarantee availability on-site.