Michigan residents interested in engaging in new agricultural enterprises sometimes lack knowledge, experience and technical support to get started. MSU Extension educators and specialists receive numerous inquiries seeking basic, startup information for beginning farmers. Since 2012, they have filled this need through the Beginning Farmer Webinar Series.
In 2015, 23 MSU Extension educators taught 20 educational webinars. Topic-specific webinars included hops production, marketing, beekeeping, cover crops, organic certification, mortality management, vegetable production, sheep and goat production, cow-calf production, farm food safety, pest management, irrigation, fruit production and poultry production. Participants were mostly current or future growers who represented small farms. Four percent of the participants said they were not currently farming.
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