NC Farm School: Is It for You?
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Have you ever considered starting your own agricultural business? Do you have land and want to finally do something with it to start making money? Do you need a well-thought-out business plan to help you make that dream a reality? If you answered yes to any of these questions, North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, has something for you called NC Farm School (NCFS).
Agricultural business is a complex industry requiring many skills in order to be successful. According to learn.org, “As farmers learn to compete and remain viable in a global marketplace, they draw upon business principles and a complex network of agriculture and business professionals. This includes taking advantage of new advances in farming, such as bioengineering, mechanization, and new breeding practices, deciding how to sell crops, whether locally or on a commodities exchange, and managing and insuring land in the most profitable manner.” N.C. Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, is pleased to offer a structured training opportunity to help individuals create a road map for success for new and beginning farmers by delivering an introductory-level program that will provide basic business principles used in any agricultural enterprise, whether it be crops, livestock, or some other specialty.
N.C. Cooperative Extension will be working with a larger cluster of southeastern counties to offer a NC Farm School program beginning in February and ending in May of 2023. Classroom sessions will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on February 6, February 20, March 6, March 20, April 3, April 17, May 1, and May 15 at Cooperative Extension, Bladen County Center, 450 Smith Circle, Elizabethtown, NC 28337. Snacks, drinks, course material, and online resources will be provided. Four field days will be offered on March 15, April 12, May 10, and May 31, which will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Field day attendance is not required as a part of the graduation requirement, but attendance will be in person only.
Registration is now live for both in-person and online (virtual) opportunities. The cost is $399 per person or $599 per pair. Our program is subsidized thanks to sponsors and state funding made available to help start and support farms in NC. Students who apply must declare their method of attendance as a part of their application. We encourage in-person attendance to get the most from NCFS, but we respect preferences and schedule requirements for all students. Applications are reviewed and accepted monthly from September-January or until all program spots are full. The maximum class size is 30 participants to ensure we have the capacity to serve each student well. We expect students to attend 6 of the 8 sessions and complete a minimum business plan required to receive a graduation certificate. We will use internet technology and we have a student-based website as well as an online/interactive business planning tool. This program also includes an on-farm consultation visit of each participants’ farm with NCFS staff to help make your dreams become a reality. More information about this exciting opportunity
For more information contact Mac Malloy, County Extension Director and Field Crop Agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, at (910) 671-3276, by E-mail at Mac_Malloy@ncsu.edu, or visit our website.