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Applications Now Being Accepted for Whole Farm Planning Course

Berlin--The University of Vermont (UVM) Extension New Farmer Project is accepting applications until Nov. 1 from women farmers interested in a holistic management approach to building a sustainable and profitable agricultural operation.

Any woman who has operated a farm or agricultural enterprise in Vermont for two to 10 years is eligible to apply for the 10-session Whole Farm Planning for Beginning Women Farmers course, which begins Jan. 8. Classes will be held twice a month from January through May at the UVM Extension office in Berlin and three Vermont farms.

Only 15 applicants will be accepted for the course. Full and partial scholarships are available to cover the registration fee, which is on a sliding scale of $150 to $500. An online application form may be found at www.uvm.edu/newfarmer. Click on "Classes."

The course will cover a wide range of topics including how to create a values-based farm mission, improve leadership and communication skills and use management tools such as business planning and marketing strategies to increase farm profitability. Participants also will learn about the whole farm decision analysis process, time management, land and infrastructure planning, soil fertility and integration of livestock on the farm.

An experienced farm mentor will provide individual consultations throughout the course. In addition, there will be plenty of opportunities to network with other women with similar goals and concerns and learn how they handle challenges in their operations.

For additional information, or if requiring a disability-related accommodation to participate, please contact Jessie Schmidt at newfarmer@uvm.edu or (802) 223-2389, ext. 203 or (866) 860-1382, ext. 203 (toll-free in Vermont) by Nov. 1.

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