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67 Merchants Row
Rutland, VT, 05701
United States

(802) 417-1528

Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL) promotes local food knowledge, production and market opportunities for farmers and community members throughout our region.

What's Growin' On

An online community of farmers in the Rutland region hosted by the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link

Online courses on Marketing, Profits, and Berry Production


The Northeast Beginning Farmers Project is offering a wide variety of courses for aspiring, new and experienced farmers – the following 3 are opening next month! Sign up now to reserve your place so you don't miss out!

These online courses are only a few of the many offered this Fall, Winter, and Spring by the Cornell Small Farms Program and Cornell Cooperative Extension, on topics ranging from financial recordkeeping to raising poultry. Visit http://nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses to register or to learn more!

Markets & Profits – Exploring the Feasibility of Your Farming Ideas (BF 102)
Nov. 8 – Dec. 13, 2012. Webinars will be every Thurs. evening at 7pm EST except on Thanksgiving, Thurs. Nov 22.
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. It picks up where BF 101: Square One left off, so follows a natural learning progression from that course. Course Objectives of this course include:

  • Identify farm goals and timelines for an enterprise
  • Begin to develop enterprise budgets and understand the potential for profitability with selected agricultural products
  • Explore marketing outlets and concepts important for successfully branding and selling your product
  • Understand that everything in farming is interconnected

This course is taught by Beth Claypoole, an Ag Issues Leader of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Wayne County, NY and Alison DeMarree, Farm Business Management Specialist for the Lake Ontario Fruit Region of NY.
Visit http://nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses/all-courses/bf-102-markets-profits/ to learn more and register.

Marketing Planning – Pricing, Positioning, and Guerilla Marketing Tactics (BF 201)
Tues. Nov 13 – Tues. Dec. 18, with webinars each Tues. night at 7pm EST.
Completion of this online course will enable you to better understand how to price your products, position yourself in the “buy local” and direct sales marketplace, and understand low-cost “guerrilla” marketing tactics to get the best bang for your buck and make your farm operation financially sustainable. Students will have a beginning marketing plan at the completion of this course. Objectives of this course include:

  • Link your farm’s mission and vision to your commercial goals and marketing strategy
  • Understand the key elements of a solid marketing plan
  • Understand & use effective marketing strategies
  • Understand and use various pricing strategies with your products
  • Create a marketing plan through weekly input from the course instructors

The course is taught by Laura Biasillo, an Ag Educator with CCE Broome County, and Rebecca Schuelke-Staehr, who formerly worked for the NY Farm Viability Institute and now co-owns and operates a crop and vegetable farm, the Cayuga Pumpkin Barn in Cayuga County, NY.
Visit http://nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses/all-courses/bf-201-making-money/ to learn more and register.

Berry Production: Getting Started with Production and Marketing (BF 122)
This is a 5-week course from Mon. Nov 19 – Mon. Dec 17, with webinars each Mon. night from 7-8:30pm EST.
Whether you’re brand new to farming or an experienced farmer considering adding berries to your enterprise mix, this 6-week online course will help you get started with the big three berries–strawberries, blueberries, and brambles–as well as some lesser-known berry crops like currants and gooseberries. Sign up to learn about:

  • Primary considerations when choosing a site for successful berry farming
  • Basic cultural demands of the 3 major berry crops (strawberry, blueberry and brambles)
  • Cultural requirements of an array of lesser known berry crops
  • Pest complexes of the major berry crops
  • Post-harvest requirements of berries
  • Considerations for successful marketing of berry crops
  • How to analyze costs vs. expenses and be able to incorporate them into a business plan

The course is led by Laura McDermott, a berry specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension. You’ll also hear from farmers and other ag specialists in live weekly webinars, which will complement reading materials, discussion forums, and resource links in the course’s virtual classroom.

Visit http://nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses/all-courses/bf-122-berry-production/ to learn more and register.