Farm Beginnings training course to be offered in SE Minnesota
ROCHESTER, Minn. — One of the most innovative farmer training initiatives in the country will be offering classes in Rochester, beginning this fall. The early bird discount deadline for applying to the Land Stewardship Project’s 2018-2019 Farm Beginnings course is Aug. 1.
A one-day Farm Dreams class to help people figure out if farming is the next step for them will be held in Minneapolis on July 29. Farm Dreams is a good prerequisite for the Farm Beginnings course. For more information on Farm Dreams and Farm Beginnings, and to obtain Farm Beginnings application materials, see www.farmbeginnings.org, or call Dori Eder at 612-578-4497.
Farm Beginnings is a 12-month course that helps beginning farmers clarify their goals and strengths, establish a strong enterprise plan and start building their operation. Classes for 2018-2019 will begin in October. Nine farmer-led classroom sessions will be held on Saturdays until March 2019, followed by on-farm tours and field days, as well as opportunities to connect with an extensive farmer network.
In 2018, Farm Beginnings is marking its second decade of providing firsthand training in low-cost, sustainable methods of farming. The course is designed for people of all ages just getting started in farming, as well as established farmers looking to make changes in their operations. Over the years, more than 800 people have graduated from the Minnesota-region Farm Beginnings course. Graduates are involved in a wide range of agricultural enterprises, including grass-based livestock, organic vegetables, community supported agriculture and specialty products.
Beginning farmers now have a new incentive to enroll in the Farm Beginnings course. People who participate in approved financial management programs like Farm Beginnings are eligible to benefit from the Minnesota Beginning Farmer Tax Credit, which provides a credit to owners of agricultural assets — land, livestock, facilities or machinery — who agree to sell or rent those assets to a beginning farmer who is not a family member. A tax credit is also available to help cover the cost of participating in a program like Farm Beginnings. For more in the tax credit, see www.farmbeginnings.org.