Register Now for Business Planning Class

A six-week course designed to provide both new and experienced farmers with the tools to develop agricultural business plans to start or grow their businesses will be offered through the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension New Farmer Project at three locations this winter.

The course will combine in-person learning with some distance education approaches to enhance learning and networking opportunities.

“Building a Sustainable Business” will help participants assess their resources, develop marketing strategies, and better understand financial aspects and funding sources involved with running a successful agricultural business.

Instructors for the course include Dennis Kauppila, UVM Extension agriculture and farm business management specialist; Mary Peabody, WAgN director; and Steve Paddock, Vermont Small Business Development Center business specialist. The course also will feature farmers, lenders, and other agricultural professionals who will share their experiences with participants.

Classes will be held in Berlin, Rutland, and St. Johnsbury on Dec. 1, 8, 15, and Jan. 5, 12, and 19, 2011 from 1 to 4 p.m.  The three locations will link up via the Internet for part of each class session.

The deadline for registration is Nov. 19.  Pre-registration is required as space is limited. The fee is $150 per person.  For past participants in UVM Extension’s Women’s Agricultural Network’s  (WagN) Growing Places course, the fee is $125.
Register online at Or send a check, made payable to UVM Extension, to Building a Sustainable Business, 617 Comstock Rd., Suite 5, Berlin, Vt. 05602.  Please include your name, address, phone, and e-mail and indicate which class location you plan to attend. Confirmation and directions to the course location will be sent upon receipt of payment.

If you require accommodations to participate, please contact Mary Peabody at or (866) 860-1382, ext. 202, by Nov. 15.

Scholarship assistance is available.  For more information, contact Jessie Schmidt at or (802) 223-2389, ext. 203.

The course is co-sponsored by UVM Extension, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency, Vermont Small Business Development Center, and UVM’s Center for Sustainable Agriculture.


About Beth Holtzman

Beth Holtzman is outreach and education coordinator for the UVM New Farmer Project the Women's Agricultural Network.
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4 Responses to Register Now for Business Planning Class

  1. Dana Ruppert says:

    I would be interested in this course if it were offered in a southern Vermont location, like Brattleboro. Will this type of workshop be offered in southern Vermont anytime in the coming months?

  2. Hi Dana– We do our best to reach all parts of Vermont with our course offerings. Rutland is the southern location we have selected for this year. We are also working to create an on-line course and learning module of the material so the more people around the state can access the information more easily. I am sorry we won’t be closer to Brattleboro this year!


  3. Harley Blake says:

    I also would be VERY interested in Ag Business Planning courses
    at this juncture.
    Since our place is in deep Southern Vermont, all the things held
    in Rutland, Chittenden and beyond are really out of the question.
    As the main issue now is cutting down driving so that we can
    start to make headway *AT* our place and start producing, it
    would be great to have classes – esp on business aspects etc.
    down here somewhere.

    • Thanks for letting us know about the need for farm business planning services in your area. We strive to distribute our class locations and times to meet the needs of as many farmers as possible. We also offer on-line learning opportunities to increase access throughout the state. We have several recordings of on-line presentations related to owning and operating a farm business. Check them out at We also offer a business planning class called Growing Places on-line every winter. You can find out more about the class at Your comments will be taken into consideration as we plan the locations of our in-person courses for next fall & winter as well. And please feel free to give us a call or email with any specific questions you have about operating your new farm. I can be reached at 802-223-2389 or

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