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The Field School: Winter Business Intensive

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8 FREE classes to help set beginning farmers on the path to a successful and sustainable career in agriculture production.

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The Winter Business Intensive is the second session in the SWVA Field School. The session is made up of 8 FREE intensive classes designed to help set beginning farmers on the path to a successful career in agriculture production.

During these classes, students will participate in topics such as business planning, sustainable practices, financial management, marketing, and more. By registering for this event, you are registering for all 8 classes. Please contact Jenni Roop with any questions: jroop@asdevelop.org or call (276)623-1121

The full list of classes are as follows:

Class # 1: November 4th, 2021 - Introductions & Getting Started

ASD will introduce the program, support staff, coursework and expectations, allowing time for each participant to speak about their farms and goals.

Class #2: November 18th, 2021 - Visioning & Assessing Your Resources

Students will reflect on their mission and values prior to creating a business plan. *ASD will provide resources for the review of personal and family lifestyle needs and deeper understanding of creating financial goals.

Class #3: December 2nd, 2021 - Farm Infrastructure & Natural Resources

Students will discuss the benefits of viewing their farm as a whole integrated system, with consideration of environmental, economic, and social resources needed for success. *Students will assess their farm’s resources and be introduced to conservation and support services.

Class # 4: December 16th, 2021 - Markets & Marketing

Students will learn how to identify appropriate sales outlets and specific local and regional customers. *Training on how to use low-cost platforms to market products effectively will be provided.

Class #5: January 6th, 2022 - Business & Financial Management

Students will get introduced to financial planning, recordkeeping, and filing taxes with an overview of budgets, cash flow analysis, and profit and loss sheets. *ASD will provide guidance for recordkeeping to make filing a farm’s Schedule F tax form easier.

Class #6: January 20th, 2022 - Sustainable Production Planning

ASD will share benefits of some sustainable production strategies: high tunnels for season extension, rotational grazing, and cover crops & soil health. *This class will highlight programs offered by other support organizations that cover these practices.

Class # 7: February 3rd, 2022 - Entrepreneurship & Risk Management

Students will learn the steps to set up their business and manage risk on their farm. *Information includes getting a Farm Number, business license, insurance considerations, business structures, and estate planning.

Class #8: February 17th, 2022 - Loans, Grants & Financial Support

Students will have a fairly robust farm business plan outlined, which will be very useful when applying for loan or other support programs. *ASD will provide a variety of opportunities: state and federal grants, cost-share, and loan programs available to farmers with a special focus on the Farm Service Agency’s micro-loan program for beginning farmers.

March 3rd, 2022: - Closing Gathering, Present Business Plans

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Organizer Appalachian Sustainable Development

Organizer of The Field School: Winter Business Intensive

Since 1995, Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) has been working to propel our mission to build a thriving regional food and agriculture system that creates healthy communities, respects the planet, and cultivates profitable opportunities for Appalachians.

In the beginning, ASD focused exclusively on 15 counties in northeast TN and southwest VA, where 1 in 5 citizens are at or below the federal poverty line. Today, our work has expanded to include partners in eastern WV, KY and southeast OH. 

ASD collaborates with a variety of partners to significantly expand its impacts by leveraging the intersections between agriculture, economic development, community building and health.  

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