Hudson Valley Farm Beginnings is offered to 15 applicants on a yearly basis. Aspiring and current farmers, those in transition from conventional to sustainable agriculture, second career farm entrepreneurs, and landowners interested in developing farming enterprises on their land are all welcome. The course is based on curricula developed by the Land Stewardship Project in MN and Angelic Organics Learning Center in IL and has been modified to meet the unique needs of farmers in the Northeast. The program includes 42 hours of class time, four field days (tour plus in-depth open-book financial sessions with regional farmers) and individual mentoring sessions. The class meets twice monthly from October through the end of January. Mentoring sessions meet during the month of March and four field days are held during the months of April and May.
● Clarifying your values: setting personal and strategic goals.
● Analyzing your situation: strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.
● How to manage your most important asset: Your land.
● Creating a business plan.
● Marketing your products.
● Distribution options and how to develop a pricing strategy.
● Assembling the financial data: budgeting and your beliefs about money.
● Land access and tenure: lease agreements.
● Goal setting
● Sound financial management
● Strategic business planning
● Access to support networks & colleagues
Program Focus Sessions Include: Beyond the Fields… Building skills for a successful farm business
Program fee is $600–1200 sliding scale and includes lunch and certificate. For more information, visit http://hawthornevalleyfarm.org/farm-beginnings.