New farm businesses provide jobs, income and increased economic and social stability, and increased food security to rural and other communities. Providing basic, practical information to people interested in or already engaging in new farm enterprises helps these small businesses develop sound production and marketing plans. The Michigan State University Extension Beginning Farmer Webinar Series helps to make this happen, reaching 664 people since 2012.
An evaluation of the series of 24 webinars offered during January-May 2016 showed that the series was perceived as valuable by respondents, with strong indication of knowledge increase. Respondents indicated the series will have impact on the land they manage and on several key farming decisions and activities. Respondents revealed that the series contributed to the creation of 10 new jobs.
A new Beginning Farmer Webinar Series is planned for January-May 2017. Presenters include MSU Extension educators and others. The following evening “Getting started with…” webinars will provide valuable start-up information on nine general and more specific farming topics, including:
- Jan. 30, Small vegetable farm systems
- Feb. 13, Hoophouse management
- Feb. 27, Maple syrup
- March 13, Fencing and watering systems for livestock
- March 27, Blueberries
- April 3, Crop nutrient management
- April 10, Aquaculture (fish farming)
- April 24, Planning and operating a mixed fruit orchard
- May 8, Producing and selling eggs
A fee of $10 per webinar is required, or you can register for the entire series at half price for $45. Webinar recordings will be provided to all registered participants. Participate from the comfort and convenience of your own home or office. Registration, a brochure containing details on each individual program and online or mailed payment options can be found at Beginning Farmer Webinar Series 2017. You may register for all or some of the courses at any time, even if the session has already taken place. In that case, you will get a link to the recorded program.
Each program begins at 7 p.m. ET and will last up to two hours. A high-speed internet connection is required. You will receive webinar connection information after you register.
An archive of 58 Beginning Farmer Webinar Series programs from 2012-2016 on a wide variety of topics can be accessed free of charge at the Beginning Farmer Webinar Series webpage.
Contact the Alger County MSU Extension office at 906-387-2530 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Source: Jim Isleib, Michigan State University