University of Vermont

Cultivating Healthy Communities

Women’s Agricultural Network Course Helps Ag Entrepreneurs Plan for Success

This fall and winter, the University of Vermont Extension Women's Agricultural Network (WAgN) will offer in-person and online sessions of the Growing Places pre-business planning course for people interested in starting or expanding an agricultural business. No prior experience is necessary; people from all backgrounds who are interested in any type of agricultural enterprise are welcome. "Growing Places is designed to help entrepreneurs get off to the right start," says WAgN Coordinator Beth Holtzman. Growing Places participants develop goals for themselves and their businesses, become more familiar with financing options, identify and evaluate available resources, examine marketing strategies, and learn about agencies and organizations that provide support and assistance to farmers. "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." Since 1995, more than 350 people have completed Growing Places. Beginning in 2006, WAgN also began offering online versions of the class. People for whom travel time, family and work commitments make participation in an in-person class difficult, may find the online course a good option. Individuals with slower Internet connections, who prefer "live" interaction, or who are less comfortable with written communication may prefer the classroom setting. Growing Places Courses will be offered as follows in the fall of 2010 and winter of 2011: * Middlebury, Vt., Saturdays, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Oct. 9, 16 and 23.
* Winter 2011 Online Session: Starts the week of January 11 and end the week of February 2 To learn more about the course and to register for either session, please visit: http://www.uvm.edu/wagn and click on "For Aspiring and Beginning Farmers" in the green "Quick Links" box on the right. To go directly to the registration page, please point your browser to http://www.uvm.edu/wagn/?Page=education/gp_pages/gp_current_reg.html&SM=education/sub-menu.html. A deposit of $100 must accompany your registration, unless you are seeking a scholarship. In that case, send in your registration form by the registration deadline with a $25 deposit and a written scholarship request. To request a scholarship, please write a brief letter that explains why the registration fee represents a financial hardship for you at this time. The registration deadline is September 30 for the Middlebury session and December 15 for the online session. Individuals requiring accommodations or financial assistance to participate in this program should contact the Women's Agricultural Network Main Office at (802) 223-2389 x 204 at least 12 business days prior to the start of the class. UVM Extension helps individuals and communities put research based knowledge to work. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture. University of Vermont Extension, Burlington, Vermont. University of Vermont Extension, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.