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4th farm beginnings class starts Dec. 11

Anyone wanting to evaluate and plan a farm enterprise has the opportunity to learn how from actual farmers and agricultural experts during the 2010-2011 Farm Beginnings class beginning Dec. 11 near Mead.

The program is designed to engage participants in a mentorship experience and network with successful and innovative farmers, and attend high quality seminars, field days and conferences. All sessions will be at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Agricultural Research and Development Center near Mead in the August N. Christenson Research and Education Building.

“This is an excellent program for someone who wants to become involved in developing a farm enterprise,” said Gary Lesoing, UNL Extension educator in Nemaha County. “It will help participants organize their activities and efforts and offer ideas and encouragement even if you don’t have the land or resources to farm conventionally.”

The course will be taught in 10 sessions, two each month.

The first session, Dec. 11, will focus on building networks, value clarification and goal setting. The Dec. 18 session will involve whole farm planning. Both of these sessions begin at 9 a.m. and use a holistic management approach.

The January sessions, on Jan. 8 and 22, deal with building your business plan, marketing and farm planning. These sessions begin at 10 a.m., and participants will hear from the Nebraska Buy Fresh, Buy Local Coordinator and an employee from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

In February, participants will learn about business and farm management, Feb. 5 at 10 a.m., and also attend the Rural Advantage, Healthy Farms Conference in Columbus on Feb. 18 and 19.

Marketing and finances along with financing and business planning are the topics for March 5 and 19. Beginning at 10 a.m., participants will hear and learn from actual farmers, an extension educator, a representative from USDA’s Farm Service Agency to discuss its Farm Loan Programs and other resources for beginning farmers and a Nebraska Department of Agriculture representative explaining its Beginning Farmer Program.

The final two sessions will be April 2 and 19. The first, at 10 a.m., will be a presentation about realities from the farm from previous Farm Beginnings participants. The final session, at 9 a.m., will include presentations and business plans from current participants.

The class costs $500. An application is required along with a $50 deposit to reserve a spot. For more information, contact Lesoing at the Nemaha County Extension Office, 1824 N St. in Auburn, (402) 274-4755 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .