Whole Farm Planning Program for Agricultural Educators

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If you are an agricultural educator in the Northeast (NY, PA, NH, VT, CT, MA, ME, DE, MD, NJ, RI, WV, DC), a new Whole Farm Planning program is starting in November and is fully funded by a grant from Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NE SARE). The Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE) is collaborating with HMI on this program and training programs will be taught by Holistic Management educators from that region. To learn more about the program and how to apply, contact Sarah Williford at 845-264-2401 or email sarahmwilliford@gmail.com.

Why you? And why Whole Farm Planning?

As an agricultural service provider, this is a unique opportunity to expand your skills and expertise for your farmer clientele. 

Whole farm planning is essential for many farmers looking to expand, diversify, transfer assets to the next generation, and improve environmental conditions and, importantly, increase farm profitability.

Unique to the whole farm planning process is learning how to manage your values, resources, and business holistically. Each topic is interconnected just like life!

About the Project

From 2005-2012, Northeast SARE funded 25 Ag service providers in Whole Farm Planning trainings. Participants reported that they and their clients were helped tremendously in diversification, conservation, and income goals. Seeing a need for more Whole Farm Planning Training for Ag Service Providers, CADE and Holistic Management International applied for SARE funding to carry out a new round of training. This training is tailored specifically to meet your needs as farmer educators.

We invite anyone who works directly with farmers to enroll in this educational opportunity.

Course Details

Whole Farm Planning guides farmers through specific processes to improve on-farm decision making, increase farm efficiency, develop communication skills, enhance profitability, and ensure environmental conditions on farms.

This 3 year program will involve 3 in person sessions, each lasting 2.5 days. And 2, once-a-week webinars for 4 weeks. The first in person sessions will be held in November 2017, the second session in November 2018 and the third session in November 2019.  The first 4-week webinar series will be in Feb-March 2018, the second in Feb-March 2019. The sessions will focus on:

·     farm/family goal setting
·     farm resource delineation
·     on-farm decision making
·     farm financial planning & analysis
·     farm design with land & infrastructure planning
·     business & marketing
·     leadership & labor management

All expenses for the training will be paid through a Northeast SARE Professional Development Grant.  Covered expenses include travel, room and board, and supplies and materials.  Additionally, a program mentor will support participants through communication on monthly conference calls and via email.

Participants will be required to attend all 3 in person sessions and 8 webinars and commit to working with at least 5 farms between sessions to implement the knowledge and skills gained during their training.  Participants who are also farmers may use their farm as one of the five required.

25 participants will be accepted for this training. The training is targeted at Agriculture Service Providers in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.  

Location of in-person sessions will be determined on location of the participants.

To learn more about the program and how to apply, contact Sarah Williford at 845-264-2401 or email sarahmwilliford@gmail.com.