Winter is a great time for planning for your small farm future or taking courses to make your existing farm business even more successful. This Spring we'll be offering 4 online courses - including a new Machinery and Equipment course - to help you continue your farming education. As always, our courses are taught by experienced Cooperative Extension educators, farmers, and other specialists. Courses run 5-8 weeks, cost $175, and include both real-time meetings (online webinars) and on-your-own time reading and activities. We do not offer any academic credit, but those who successfully complete a course will receive a certificate and are also eligible for Farm Service Agency (FSA) borrower training credit, which can improve your eligibility to receive a low-interest FSA loan.
We have four great spring 2012 online courses that will help you build your farm business:
• BF 102: Markets and Profits - Exploring the Feasibility of Your Farming Ideas Have an idea for a farm enterprise but not sure if it’s feasible? This course will get you started exploring the potential markets and profitability of your ideas. Starts January 19, 2012.
• BF 103: Taking Care of Business - Understanding the Business, Regulatory, and Tax Implications of Your Farm (designed to follow BF 101) This is an intro-level course for aspiring or beginning farmers living and/or farming in NYS and seeking to learn about the commercial, legal and tax implications of farming. Starts March 2, 2012.
• BF 105: Machinery and Equipment - Evaluating What's Right for Your Operation Many a farm operation has been sunk by "shiny equipment syndrome"; in other words, purchasing too much brand new equipment. On the other end of the scale, many new farmers have burned out their bodies by not adequately powering their farms with machinery. This course will help you strike a happy balance, evaluating what equipment you really need for your scale of operation, whether to buy or make other arrangements, and how to keep your equipment running smoothly if you do purchase it. Starts March 5, 2012.
• BF 122: Berry Production - Getting Started with Growing and Marketing If you're exploring the idea of adding berries and bramble fruits to your farm, this course will help you consider all the aspects of this decision, from varieties and site selection all the way through profit potential and marketing. Starts February 28, 2012.
To learn more about each course, please visit http://nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses. From this site you can visit our Annual Course Calendar, learn more about our Instructors, see answers to Frequently Asked Questions, read details for each course, and even visit a sample online course.