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Women Farmers Invited To Apply For Whole Farm Planning Course

Burlington--Women farmers interested in building a sustainable and profitable agricultural operation through a holistic management approach to farming are invited to apply for one of 17 spots in the Whole Farm Planning for Beginning Women Farmers course offered through the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension New Farmer Project.  Applications will be accepted until Nov. 15 with notification of acceptance by Dec. 15.

The course is geared to women who have operated a farm or agricultural enterprise in Vermont for one to 10 years. The 10-session course, which includes visits to Lamoille County farms and classroom sessions in the Morrisville area, begins Jan. 7.

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."

Participants will learn 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. The course also covers whole farm decision making, time management, land and infrastructure planning, soil fertility and integration of livestock on the farm.

Throughout the course an experienced farm mentor will provide individual consultations. There also will be plenty of networking opportunities with other women with similar goals and concerns to learn how they handle challenges in their operations.

The course was developed in collaboration with Holistic Management International, with grant funding from the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.  For additional information, or to request a disability-related accommodation to participate in this program, 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. 15.

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