Growing Places: For aspiring farmers and start-ups

Get your farm enterprise off to the right start.

Growing Places participants learn about: goal setting and decision making; financial and business management; accessing capital and credit; the basics of marketing agricultural products; and the essential elements of a business plan. Participants who complete course assignments have: 

  • engaged in strategic thinking about a farm business; 
  • been exposed to all the elements of a first business plan; and, 
  • outlined an action plan to advance their farm business planning.

Upcoming Sessions:

New for 2022: Growing Places is now available as a self-paced, online course, allowing you to access the materials and work through the assignments when it is convenient for you. For most people, it takes 12 and 16 hours to complete the course — you choose whether to do it over a a week, a month or several months.

The course includes an individual coaching session (via video call) with the course instructor, during which you can ask questions, talk over topics specific to your situation, and get feedback on your farm development plan.

This new format allows you to work through the content when it fits in your schedule.

The course is co-sponsored by the UVM Extension New Farmer Project and Women’s Agricultural Network, and hosted at the national Extension Foundation Online Campus.
There is a $100 course fee.

More about Growing Places

Growing Places is designed for individuals who are considering starting an agriculture or natural resource based business, but who aren’t sure where to start. It is designed to help you:

  • develop a comprehensive goal statement, to support and streamline the business planning process;
  • explore and evaluate opportunities and resources;
  • become familiar with state and federal agriculture programs.

The course is organized into six modules, each addressing a different aspect of business development. Modules include presentations, readings, hands-on exercises and virtual “farm visits” that bring practical perspectives on each topic. The six topic areas are:

  • Building a whole-life goal
  • Making goal-based decisions
  • Learning the language of ag business finance
  • Resource evaluation and risk assessment
  • Marketing basics
  • Action planning & next steps

Growing Places Registration