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Sustainable Agricultural Programs - So You Want to Farm in Maine? Training in Central Maine

small red horse barnA Short Course for Individuals Who Want a Profitable Farm Operation.

This course is designed for current farmers and those who are aspiring to have a farm.

The purpose of this course is to equip participants with knowledge and skills to start, adapt and maintain a profitable land-based business.

This multi-session course was be offered over 4 evenings starting April 3, 2017 at Penobscot County Extension Office, 307 Maine Ave, Bangor. (out by the airport) The text for the course is Starting and Running a Small Farm Business by Sarah Aubrey. Instructors for the course include Extension staff Donna Coffin, Caragh Fitzgerald, Gary Anderson, Kathy Hopkins and Rick Kersbergen with guest instructors.

The live onsite course and live ZOOM connection is not available.  All participants will be able to access the archived sessions through YouTube. The course registration fee is $50.

Contact to register

Agenda, below.

Session 1. 

Donna Coffin, Gary Anderson, Caragh Fitzgerald, and Rick Kersbergen

  • Introductions/ Goals of participants
  • Selecting & evaluating farm enterprises.
  • Enterprise budget examples
  • Essentials in developing a business plan
  • Goal setting and risk management
  • Determining your land’s potential

Session 2. 

Donna Coffin, Gary Anderson and Paul Dillon, Esq.

  • Business and Estate Planning
  • The value of good record keeping for your farm
  • Using balance sheets and cash flow

Session 3. 

Donna Coffin, Kathy Hopkins and guest speakers

  • Overview of taxes
  • Permits and license overview
  • Production information
  • Insurance
  • Financing – loans and grants

Session 4. 

Dr. James McConnon and Donna Coffin

  • Alt. Enterprise Research Reports From Farmers
  • Doing applied market research for your products and services
  • Financial Management – pulling it all together

Session 5. Optional One-on-One Short Consultations with Extension staff of your choice. Set up a time and site that is convenient for you.

**Credit available for FSA borrower training[7 CFR 764.454(d)]. FSA employees are welcome to attend. If this is something you are interested in, please indicate this.

If you are a person with a disability and need an accommodation to participate in this program, please call Theresa Tilton at 207.942.7396 to discuss your needs. Receiving requests for accommodations at least 10 days before the program provides a reasonable amount of time to meet the request, however all requests will be considered.


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