EVERETT, Wash. – There are now five million fewer farms in the U.S. than there were in the 1930s. And almost 40 percent of today’s farmers are at least 55 years old.
Consequently, the future and stability of U.S. agriculture depends on recruiting and training of a new generation of farmers.
While interest in small acreage farming and ranching increases each season, many of these new farmers have few opportunities to gain the skills needed for success. “Cultivating Success,” an award-winning series of courses, designed to provide training and create the critical connection between new and old farmers, will be presented WSU Snohomish County Extension.
The first course in this 12-week series, titled “Sustainable Small-Acreage Farming and Ranching,” will be held 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, at WSU Snohomish County Extension’s Cougar Auditorium, 600 128th St SE, Everett.
Sustainable Small-Acreage Farming and Ranching will explore the unique advantages available to small farm and ranch owners.
Sponsored by WSU Snohomish County Extension and Snohomish Conservation District, the course gives a broad overview of production and marketing options. Participants will learn what it takes to create, sustain and grow a viable small farm enterprise.
Weekly presentations include local growers, organizations, and university specialists with expertise in direct marketing, value-added processing, production planning, agronomy, livestock production, and more. In addition, two Saturday field trips will visit nearby farms to learn about different styles of successful small farm enterprises.
Course facilitator Holly Thompson, is a Stanwood Angus beef rancher and WSU graduate in animal science and agriculture economics with a master’s degree in agriculture education. Well-versed in farm economics, sustainable practices, and current market trends, Thompson also facilitates Agricultural Entrepreneurship, the farm business planning course in the series, and has worked for Northwest Farm Credit Services as a loan officer.
Class size is limited and prepaid registration is required. Cost for the 12-week course is $275 per farm or family. Visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/328893 to register with your credit card or download the form from snohomish.wsu.edu/ag/workshops/CultivatingSuccess2013.htm and mail with your check.
Extension programs and policies are consistent with federal and state laws and regulations on nondiscrimination regarding race, color, gender, national origin, religion, age, disability, and sexual orientation. Evidence of non-compliance may be reported through your local Extension Office. Persons with a disability requiring special accommodation can request accommodation 21 days before training at 425- 338.2400. If accommodation is not requested in advance, on-site availability cannot be guaranteed.