This fall and winter, the University of Vermont Extension Women's Agricultural Network will offer two online sessions of a course specifically designed to help aspiring and beginning farmers get off to the right start.
Growing Places is a non-credit course designed for people who are considering starting an agricultural or natural resource-based business.
It is open to everyone, and is relevant to all crop, livestock and value-added enterprises.
"The course covered a lot of topics at a reasonable depth, giving us concrete information as well as a lot of food for thought," said a recent Growing Places graduate. "Now I feel much more confident about what I need to do next and how I should operate my business."
Participants learn strategies for setting goals for their business, making decisions, and evaluating resources. Participants also learn the basics of farm financial management, marketing, and risk management.
Through online discussion boards, participants interact with the instructor and other students. Videos provide opportunities to see how farmers, including several Growing Places graduates, are implementing what they learned through the class.
Growing Places Courses will be offered as follows in the fall of 2009 and winter of 2010:
•Fall 2009 Online Session, Starts Nov. 16; ends Dec. 21;
•Winter 2010 Online Session; Starts Jan. 11; ends Feb. 22;
For more information and to register, visit www.uvm.edu/wagn/.
Tuition for the course is $135, or $100 for people who register by the early bird deadline of Dec. 15 for the winter session. The regular registration deadline is Dec. 31 for the winter session.