The Field School: Winter Business Intensive

Actions Panel

The Field School: Winter Business Intensive

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

When and where

Date and time


Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator 851 French Moore Junior Boulevard Abingdon, VA 24210

Map and directions

How to get there

About this event

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: or call (276)623-1121

The full list of classes are as follows:

Class # 1: November 3rd, 2022 - 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 17th, 2022 - 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 1st, 2022 - 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 15th, 2022 - 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 5th, 2023 - 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 19th, 2023 - 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 2nd, 2023 - 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 16th, 2023 - 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.