People who have recently purchased or acquired land and are seriously interested in learning how to properly transition into farming by creating a business plan, as well as learning from current growers, are invited to attend a series of training sessions, sponsored by the Granville County Extension Service. This six-week program will train beginning and transitioning farmers to operate small-scale successful specialty crop farms.
A total of six 3-hour sessions will begin on Tuesday mornings from 9 A.M. to 12 Noon at the Granville County Cooperative Extension Center, 208 Wall Street, in Oxford on the following dates: February 5, February 19, March 5, March 19, April 9, and April 23, 2013.
Each 3-hour session will start off with a business planning topic given by Mr. Gary Bullen, Extension Agricultural Economist at NC State. Four of the six sessions will end with a grower who is currently engaged in a small farm enterprise, and two of the sessions will end with Carl Cantaluppi, talking about “Exploring High Value Horticultural Crops” and Marketing Options for Horticultural Crop Producers.” There will also be field trips to two local farms. The topics will be arranged as follows:
Tuesday Feb. 5 – “Your Business Concept” (Gary Bullen) and “Fruit and Vegetable Growing and Marketing” (Dean Kight of Kight Farms) In this session, we review how to evaluateyour business concept. Every successful venture begins with a unique concept. However, not every idea is viable at first. We will address the questions you will need to ask as you evaluate the viability of your business concept and listen to a successful fruit and vegetable grower.
Tuesday, Feb. 19 – “Your Farm History and Current Situation” (Gary Bullen) and “Exploring High Value Horticultural Crops” (Carl Cantaluppi) In this session we will look critically at your farm potential and what outside factors are important to the success of your new venture, as well as looking at some high value horticultural crops.
Tuesday, March 5 – “Market Research” (Gary Bullen) and “Marketing Options for Horticultural Crop Producers” (Carl Cantaluppi) We will address the following questions: Is there a market for the new crops? Where are the markets? Is there room for one more farm selling to this market? Are there enough customers interested in your product to make your venture successful? We will learn market research techniques needed to address these market questions.
Tuesday, March 19 – “Market Strategies” (Gary Bullen) and “Growing in High Tunnels” (field trip to S&H Farm with Vicki Salisbury) In this session we will look at where to sell, what price to charge, who are your customers, what is this the best way to get the product to them, as well as learning from an established grower.
Tuesday, April 9 – “Financial Planning” and “Growing in High Tunnels” (field trip to Sassafras Fork Farm with Stephanie Hall) Will the new enterprise be profitable? How do we measure profitability? We will address the question: How will the new enterprise make money? and learn about other crops being grown in a high tunnel.
Tuesday, April 23 – Farm Planning: “Putting the Pieces Together” (Gary Bullen) and “Successful Selling at Farmers Markets” (Doreathy Booth of Angels Nest Farm) In the final session we look at whole farm planning and looking at the big picture items that makes a venture successful, as well as learning from a veteran farmers market seller.
These six business-planning seminars will give farmers the tools to create a viable business plan for a small scale specialty crop enterprise and will include two field trips at productive farms led by innovative experienced growers.
The cost of the school is $100.00 per person and will include lunch at each session, snacks, a business plan manual, and a notebook filled with information from each presenter. A check can be made payable to Granville County and mailed to Granville County Extension Center, P.O. Box 926, Oxford, NC 27565. Please mail to arrive no later than Tuesday, January 29, 2013.
Submitted by Carl Cantaluppi, Agriculture Agent – Horticulture
North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, or veteran's status. In addition, the two Universities welcome all person without regard to sexual orientation. North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating. Persons with disabilities and persons with limited English proficiency may request accommodations to participate by contacting Paul Westfall, County Extension Director, at 919-603-1350 or email@example.com, or FAX 919-603-0268, or in person at the County Extension Office at least 7 days prior to the event.