Are you interested in starting a small-acreage, sustainable farm? Already farming, but interested in strengthening your cultivation methods, business plan, network of resources, or sales? Whether just beginning, or looking to expand your existing operation, this program is for you!! Strong Starts is an intensive educational series developed for newer farmers and farmers-to-be in Central Texas.
STRONG STARTS will take place one day a week over five weeks in July and August. Scheduled program dates are July 9, 16 and 23, and August 6 and 13.
AgriLife Extension specialists join community experts and local growers to teach and advise Strong Starts participants. Each day of instruction examines an important aspect of successful for-profit farming, and will offer a robust set of information, resources, and hands-on learning opportunities.
Instruction will be given by AgriLife Extension personnel and representatives of other agencies, including the Texas Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Weekly program educational topics will be:
|July 9||Business Planning and Management||Business planning, interactive financing panel, and “infrastructure and income streams” training at certified organic Tecolote Farm.|
|July 16||Sustainable Ecosystem Management||Approach your farm as an ecosystem – soil health, organic pest management and field demonstrations.|
|July 23||Cultivation and Methods in Central Texas||Everything you need to know to start your vegetable operation or orchard. On-farm training at Boggy Creek Farm.|
|Aug. 6||Local Food System and Farmers’ Resources Showcase||Will show participants how to become informed, inspired and connected through presentations by food system insiders.|
|Aug. 13||Sales and Marketing||Sell your harvest at local schools, grocers, and farmers markets. Explore Texas Market Maker and learn basic social media use for farmers.|
Early bird pricing is available through June 28 at $60 per day for 1-3 program days, $210 for 4 days and $225 for all 5 days. (Best price is $44/day, including all materials, on-farm trainings, and lunch.)
Regular pricing June 29 and after will be $65 per day for 1 – 3 days, $220 for 4 days $240 for all 5 days.
To register, call 979-845-2604 or go to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Conference Services website at http://agriliferegister.tamu.edu and enter “Travis County” in the search field.
“Last year we had farmers attending from 11 counties and had a long wait list, so we want to encourage participants to register early and get the benefit of the early bird pricing,” said Lindsay Razzaz, AgriLife Extension horticulture assistant in Travis County and program coordinator.
“Participants from last year told us the program provided a wealth of information and exceeded their expectations,” Richards said. “They were impressed with both the diversity and depth of the topics covered and said the programming recognized their needs and identified the resources available. We’re sure this year’s program will be just as helpful to participants.”