Farm Beginnings Training Program Application Deadline Sept. 30

Course and scholarship applications are due Sept. 30 for Farm Beginnings, a training program taught by local farmers that provides participants with the support and education needed to launch a profitable and sustainable farm enterprise. Classes begin in November and are held in Sioux Falls.  Class size is limited, and scholarships are available to help with tuition costs.  Beginning farmers of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to apply and participants do not need to currently own land.  Course information and online application can be found at http://www.dakotarural.org/farmbeginnings, or contact Dakota Rural Action at (605) 697-5204 or heidiku@dakotarural.org.
This is the third year DRA has offered the Farm Beginnings course. Winter classes are held every other Saturday in Sioux Falls.  All sessions are led by established local farmers and agriculture professionals and provide real world skills in areas such as Whole Farm Planning, Financial Planning, Marketing, Business Planning, Connecting with Resources, and Connecting with Mentors. Additionally, students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of on-farm tours and skills sessions offered during the spring and summer, as well as engage in mentorships or apprenticeships with local farmers.
The course provides a solid base of knowledge around farm business planning as well as the opportunity to network with both beginning and established farmer mentors.  Course graduates Eowyn Corral and Jacqui Kouf said “Farm Beginnings has solidified our belief in sustainable agriculture.  The curriculum provides real life applications for successful businesses and the folks teaching the courses remain mentors and business partners for life.”

Farm Beginnings® is an established curriculum developed over a decade ago by the Minnesota-based Land Stewardship Project that is now replicated in several different states, including IL, NE, ND, and NY. The project is supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant #2010-03066.

Dakota Rural Action is a grassroots family agriculture and conservation group that organizes South Dakotans to protect our family farmers and ranchers, natural resources, and unique way of life.

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