Program director Penny Brown Huber says a new round of the "Grow Your Small Market Farm" class is scheduled to begin January 22, 2011 in central Iowa. Three scholarships will be awarded to help cover the cost of participating in the program. Small-market farmers are encouraged to complete an application and submit it before December 24 to be considered for a scholarship.
The program, which meets weekly beginning in January and runs through April, costs $595. Three $250 scholarships will be awarded to central Iowa small-market farms. Huber estimates the series to be a $2,500 value.
"Funds from Practical Farmers of Iowa and other financial partners allow us to offer the course for only $595," Huber says. "If you raise vegetables, herbs, flowers, specialty livestock or poultry, farm prairie seed, native grass seeds or are a small natural resource business, the Grow Your Small Market Farm classes are a great investment for you and a scholarship makes it even more affordable."
This is a business planning program for small market farmers
Grow Your Small Market Farm is a business-planning program offered for those interested in building a sustainable farm business. The curriculum is designed to help local producers test innovative ideas and create farm business plans.
The cost of the program covers two individuals from your farm and one set of materials, says Huber. Additional course materials are available for $100 per set. Class size is limited to 15. Participants are expected to attend all classes and complete a business plan. Fifteen farm businesses will be accepted into the 2011 Central Iowa Grow Your Small Market Farm program, which will meet beginning January 22, 2011. The group will work on finalizing their personal farm business plans and develop marketing materials to test their business ideas.
Scholarship applications must be delivered to Penny Brown Huber at Grow Your Small Market Farm by December 24. For information, contact Huber at [email protected] or 515-232-1344. The 2011 program brochure can be found on the Practical Farmers of Iowa website at www.practicalfarmers.org.
Funding for the program was made available to Practical Farmers of Iowa, supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of USDA. Other support was received from USDA Rural Development, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Prairie Rivers of Iowa Resource Conservation and Development, Iowa Small Business Development Center, and the Downtown Farmers Market of Des Moines.