Whole Farm Planning for Beginning Women Farmers

The UVM Extension New Farmer Project and Women’s Ag Network are about to launch the third year of Whole Farm Planning for Beginning Women Farmers.  The 10-session course will be offered at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, VT beginning this January. Applications will be accepted through Oct. 28.

Women Farmers in Group

2011 Whole Farm Planning Class Photo

The free course, coordinated by the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension New Farmer Project, is open to any woman who has operated a farm or agricultural enterprise in Vermont for at least two but no more than 10 years. Space is limited to 15 participants selected through an application process.  The UVM Extension New Farmer Project also is seeking 3 experienced farmers to serve as paid mentors to class participants.

The course includes four on-farm sessions at different Vermont farms. Throughout the course period, which runs from January through June, each individual will work one-on-one with an experienced farm mentor.

Farm tour at Cedar Cirlce Farm

Farm tour at Cedar Cirlce Farm

The course was developed by Holistic Management International, a non-profit organization that promotes and teaches holistic land management based on the on the work of Allan Savory and Jody Butterfield, co-founders of the Center for Holistic Management. Participants will learn how to create a values-based farm mission, improve their leadership and communication skills and increase farm profitability. The course also covers business planning, marketing, the whole farm decision analysis process, time management, land and infrastructure planning, soil fertility and integration of livestock on the farm.

The application form is available online at www.uvm.edu/newfarmer. Click on “Classes.” Because Vermont collaborates with whole farm planning programs in neighboring states, anyone living near the border of New Hampshire, New York or Massachusetts may be eligible to attend the course in one of those states.

The course is funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development grant. Holistic Management International staff in partnership with the UVM Extension New Farmer Project and other regional organizations, designed the curriculum specifically for women farmers

For more information or if requiring disability-related accommodations to participate, contact Jessie Schmidt at newfarmer@uvm.edu or (802) 223-2389, ext. 203 or (866) 860-1382, ext. 203 (within Vermont) by Oct. 28.

Profile photo of Jessie Schmidt

About Jessie Schmidt

Ag and Community Program Coordinator for the University of Vermont Extension.
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