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UVM Extension Ag Business Course Gets New Farmers Off to Good Start

Burlington--A six-session business planning course for beginning farmers and agricultural business owners will be offered this winter through the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension New Farmer Project.

The Building a Sustainable Business course with its focus on helping participants develop well-crafted business plans rooted in their values and goals will be held at four Vermont locations, beginning Dec. 5. The $175 registration fee is due by Nov. 28 with a $25 discount for early bird registrations received by Nov. 16.

Course locations include UVM Extension offices in Berlin, Middlebury, Morrisville, and White River Junction. Sessions will run from 1 to 4 p.m. on Dec. 5, 12 and 19 and Jan. 9, 16 and 23. Snow date is Jan. 30.

An online registration form and information about financial assistance may be found at www.uvm.edu/newfarmer. Click on "Classes." Financial aid and scholarships are available through a grant provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.

To request a disability-related accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Jessie Schmidt at (802) 223-2389, ext. 203 or (866) 860-1382, ext. 203 (toll-free in Vermont) by Nov. 16.

The course will help participants learn how to assess their available resources, develop comprehensive marketing strategies and better understand the financial aspects of operating an agricultural business. It is recommended for anyone who is just starting a farm or specialty food business or farmers who are considering adding new agricultural enterprises to their operations.

Although not a prerequisite for this course, individuals who have completed the Growing Places course, another UVM Extension New Farmer Project offering, and/or who have at least one year of production or financial business records will benefit most from this course. Growing Places graduates are eligible for discounted registration fees.

The UVM Extension New Farmer Project has scheduled additional business courses for early 2013. Visit www.uvm.edu/newfarmer to learn more about Introduction to Ag Financial Management (February) and Taking Stock (March), which is geared to experienced farmers.

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