USDA/NIFA has funded a Beginning Farmer Grant to teach beginning women farmers the tools of whole farm planning. Groups have been formed in New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New York. This year's classes will begin in October 2011. Participants must attend at total of 10 sessions with 6 sessions that will take place over the winter of 2011/2012 and 4 farm tours that will take place during the spring of 2012. The Connecticut sessions will be on weekends, generally Saturdays, and last 7 hours.
The program also includes farm mentors with onsite farm visits. If you are a woman farmer who has been farming less than 10 years, contact the CT coordinator, Deb Legge, at email@example.com for an application. If you would like to participate as a farmer mentor, please also contact the program coordinator.
This program includes:
· One-on-one mentorships
· On-farm field days
· Business planning seminars
We also want to remind everyone that these sessions will rely heavily on planning, analysis, marketing strategies, etc. and less on the nuts-and-bolts of actual farming techniques. Don’t let this throw you off, as there will be plenty of opportunities to learn from each other, share experiences and more.
The 10 seven-hour training sessions have been tentatively scheduled as follows:
10/22/2011 -Session 1 - Orientation/Overview of Holistic Management
11/12/2011 - Session 2 - Holistic Goal and Testing
12/10/2011 - Session 3 - Financial Planning 1
1/14/2012 - Session 4 - Financial Planning 2
2/11/2012 - Session 5 - Business Planning
3/10/2012- Session 6 - Marketing
TBD - Session 7 - Leadership & Communication
TBD - Session 8 - Land Planning
TBD - Session 9 - Soil Fertility
TBD - Session 10 - Grazing Planning / Graduation