Farm Business Planning Course – Groundswell

Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming Announces Farm Business Planning Course
Farm Business Planning Course

Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming will once again be conducting a 10-week Farm Business Planning Course, beginning in January 2016, for those interested in developing an agriculturally-related business concept by working directly with farm business instructors and a team of farmer educators.

Through the Course, students will learn about some of the core pieces of planning for a farm business: setting appropriate goals, matching production to market strategy, and assessing feasibility.  The Course will also cover basic financial and accounting concepts, the legalities of farming, and sources of financing. Students consistently report that the greatest part of the Course is the opportunity work with farmer-reviewers and course instructors to outline goals, develop strategies for achieving their goals and get feedback on their business plans. Course instructors include Leslie Ackerman (Alternatives FCU Business CENTS program), Monika Roth (Ag Program Leader, CCE-Tompkins County), Matt LeRoux (Ag Marketing Specialist, CCE-Tompkins County), and Devon Van Noble (Incubator Manager, Groundswell Center).

New in 2016— students who complete the Course in 2016 (including weekly homework and final project) will have the opportunity to receive follow-up consultations with the Instructor team. Selected students will be able to meet with the Instructors for up to 3 sessions in order to get direct and ongoing feedback on their farm business concepts.

In order to successfully complete this class, students are expected to have at least one year of hands-on farming experience; a clear business concept in progress or ready to launch within a year; enough time to fully commit to an intensive 10-week course requiring substantial outside research and homework. It is not a requirement that students own land or have the financial resources to buy land: this course will explore opportunities to lease land for farming in the Tompkins County area, and to find farm loans through commercial/agriculture lenders or through local “Slow Money” investors. To apply or learn more, please visit


Groundswell’s Farm Business Planning Course

January 14-March 17, 2016 • 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm


(tuition assistance is available)



The Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming, believes in the right of all people to access healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound methods. We also believe in food sovereignty – the right of people and communities to control their own food and agriculture systems.

Our mission is to engage diverse learners and empower them with skills, knowledge and access to resources in order to build more sustainable, land-based livelihoods and equitable local food systems.

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