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Course Provides Building Blocks to Start and Grow a Farm Business

White River Junction--Thinking about starting a farm or other agricultural enterprise but wondering where to begin or even if it's the right choice for you? A University of Vermont Extension course this summer in White River Junction will help you find the answers.

Growing Places, a four-part course designed to help aspiring farmers understand the realities and logistics of running an agricultural business, will be held June 24, July 8 and 22 and Aug. 5 at the Vital Communities Office, 195 North Main St. All sessions will run from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. No prior agricultural experience is needed, only an interest in starting or expanding a crop, livestock or value-added agricultural enterprise.

The course will cover goal-setting, decision-making, resource evaluation, financial planning and marketing with an end goal of helping participants develop a timeline for future action to achieve personal and business goals. Throughout the course, information will be provided on additional resources including state and federal agricultural programs and organizations that assist and support farmers. The last session will include a tour of a local farm.

The registration deadline is June 10. The fee is $135 with scholarship aid available for qualified applicants.

Course information and an online registration form may be found at www.uvm.edu/newfarmer. Click on "Classes," then "Growing Places." For more information or to request a disability-related accommodation to participate, please contact Jessie Schmidt at (802) 223-2389, ext. 203, or (866) 860-1382 (toll-free in Vermont) by June 10.

Growing Places is co-sponsored by the UVM Extension New Farmer Project and the Women's Agricultural Network. It will be offered again in October in the Burlington area and as an on-line course in January and February 2014. For more information, contact newfarmer@uvm.edu or (802) 223-2389, ext. 203.

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