MDAR’s Exploring the Small Farm Dream 2015 course

Posted on February 3, 2015 // view all Workshops

WHAT: MDAR’s Exploring the Small Farm Dream 2015
WHEN: Thursdays, March 5, 12, 19, 26 and April 2 from 6-9pm
WHERE: Amherst, MA

Are you considering starting an agricultural enterprise in Massachusetts? In this course you will:

  • Test the feasibility of your idea before you invest
  • Evaluate self employment and the suitability of an agricultural lifestyle
  • Investigate markets for your proposed product or service
  • Identify regulations that will impact your planned enterprises
  • Understand the unique risks associated with agriculture
  • Determine your financial break even date
  • Evaluate the realistic contribution you can expect from this piece of your livelihood
  • Test whether others share your vision and want to join/support you in this pursuit
  • Anticipate threats to your success
  • Decide what’s next in order to get going now, do more preparation, or avoid a bigmistake

The Explorer Program is intended for those who are considering farming as a (small) business. Its purpose is to help pre-venture, aspiring farmers learn what it will take to start and manage their own agricultural enterprise. Explorer makes use of four guided group sessions and a farmer panel of those who have already done what you are contemplating. It is based on an acclaimed workbook and is presented by instructors experienced in starting ag businesses. Explorer was created to help you articulate the clear vision and goals you will need to guide a new agricultural venture.

This course is sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Agricultural Business Training Program, in cooperation with the Explorer curriculum creator, the New England Small Farm Institute (NESFI) in Belchertown.

Class size is limited to 12 prospective farms to maximize group time, with the opportunity to bring another person from your enterprise if space allows. Meetings are once per week from 6:00-9:00 PM. The registration cost of $100 includes instruction, materials, guest speakers and a session of Q&A with a panel of varied-stage farmers.

You must have email , basic word processing and spread sheet software, and internet access to take this course! You must also agree to attend all 5 sessions.

MDAR encourages you to apply early because we often must defer participants to another year due to full courses. If you have vacations or other non-emergency conflicts with the dates, you will need to have an alternate attend for you on that night or wait until the next available course.


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