By Brandon Sears
The Madison and Garrard County Cooperative Extension Offices will be offering a beginning farmer program called KyFarmStart this fall.
KyFarmStart is a comprehensive whole-farm management education program designed for beginning farmers (farming less than 10 years as a primary operator), as well as those considering a future in farming.
The program will offer multiple educational opportunities, including: classroom instruction, field days, and farm demonstrations.
Many of the decisions facing new and future farmers can seem overwhelming. KyFarmStart was developed to provide beginning farmers with a basic foundation of production, marketing, management, and networking needed to develop a successful farm enterprise.
KyFarmStart seeks to provide beginning farmers with the “tools” they will need to evaluate their own situation and to make wise management decisions.
One of the primary goals of this program is to assist producers in developing whole-farm management plan.
The KyFarmStart program will begin on Sept. 4. This course will meet every Wednesday for 10 weeks from noon until 3 p.m. Lunch will be provided.
Most of these sessions will take place in a classroom setting. Classes will alternate between the Madison County Extension Office and the Garrard County Extension Office. The program covers a number of issues of interest to future and beginning farmers.
Topics include: farm recordkeeping, marketing, enterprise evaluation, nutrient management and soils, evaluation of natural resources, legal risk, government resources, business plans, production, farmstead management, and leadership development.
Commodity specific field days and an equipment use and safety day and fencing day are being planned as well.
If you are interested in taking part in this program, call the Madison County Cooperative Extension Service at 623-4072, or the Garrard County Cooperative Extension Service at 859-792-3026 for more details or to receive an application. You also can apply or obtain more details from madison.ca.uky.edu.
The cost of this program is $100 per farm (maximum two people per farm).
Registration is on a first come, first served basis. Enrollment is limited to 40 participants.
To reserve your place in the class, send your application and $50 deposit payable by check to Madison County office no later than June 10.
Make checks payable to: Madison County Extension District Board.
Balance of payment is due at the first meeting. This program is expected to be in high demand. Register early so we can tailor the program to your needs.
KyFarmStart is funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Beginning Farmer Rancher Program.
Our program is sponsored by the UK College of Agriculture and the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.
Collaborators include Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, Community Farm Alliance, Kentucky Dairy Development Counsel, Catholic Charities of Louisville: Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program, and Growing Warriors.
For additional program details go to: www.ca.uky.edu/
Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.