The NC Farm School is the brain child of Davidson County Extension advisory council member Jennifer Clark. Jennifer and Amy-Lynn Albertson, Davidson County Extension Agent, developed a plan for what a farm school would look like with the goal of teaching sound business principles to those wishing to start or add a new agricultural venture. 2015 Welcomes the fourth year of the NC Farm School’s history providing locations throughout the state where individuals or families can develop new businesses in Agriculture.
The NC Farm School program offers eight business-planning seminars taught by extension specialist, agents, and experienced farmers. These sessions give students the tools to create viable farm business plans. The school is easy to fit into a busy schedule by providing one class each month and each business session focuses on different areas of a business plan, including financial management and effective marketing strategies. The goal of NC Farm School is to allow a pathway of success for farmers to generate profitable businesses.
The program also includes field trips to working farms led by innovative, experienced farmers and agricultural professionals. Participants learn economically sustainable farming methods in a range of production systems, including fruits, vegetables, specialty crops, poultry, animal husbandry, and agritourism.
One of the features of the NC Farm School is getting one on one time with NC State University specialist trained in agricultural business, marketing, production system evaluation, and business startup. These consultations are so valuable to help saving students time and money and getting their farm business up and running. In addition students will meet a local agent who can help them follow through with their plans, connect them to valuable resources, and make sure they have a sound production system in place.
The NC Farm School program operates several locations throughout the state and all of the schools utilize extension agents and farmers from their regions to train students desiring to develop business skills. The school is currently underway in 2016 but if you are interested in attending NC Farm School check our website in the fall for announcements. Counties will also be hosting advanced NC Farm School one day classes in March. There will also be an NC Farm School one day summit in late summer so be looking for that announcement in late spring.