Educational session recordings for Beginning Farmers now available from MI Ag Ideas to Grow With

Did you miss the live session? Recordings are now available to view!

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With over 40 educational sessions to choose from, the MI Ag Ideas to Grow With virtual conference was once again rich with learning opportunities. This year’s conference was held Feb. 19 through March 1. Recordings of these sessions are now live and available for viewing.

Depending on what you grow, there are a variety of sessions on field crops, animal agriculture, irrigation and water, solar, farm stress, vegetables and beginning farmer specific topics throughout the two-week period. The following are links lead to educational options that may be of interest to beginning farmers:

Beginning Vegetables

Vegetables are easy to try as a new grower, or as a new crop among other enterprises. Learn the types of vegetables to consider for different markets and some techniques for their production at smaller scales.

Organic Farming, Certified or Not!

Gain insight into approaches to farm sustainability by integrating organic practices into your farming system. Some may seek certification, but that depends on your markets and drive. We will discuss the values and challenges imposed by organic certification vs. following organic practices.

The Three F’s of Farmland: Finding It, Funding It and the Future of it

Land access is often the biggest challenge for beginning farmers. Learn tools to find farmland, fund it and to keep it farmland for future generations. Organized by MSU’s Developing and Educating Managers and New Decision-makers (DEMaND) Series.

Brainstorming Farm Goals and How to Make Them Happen

The first step to your dream farm is setting goals! Join this interactive workshop to brainstorm goals for your farm and to learn from goals shared by others. Next, we will evaluate those goals as SMART goals and/or HEART goals. Finally, we will think through how to make your goals into a timeline, vision board or reminder to inspire you every day to follow your intention. Organized by MSU’s Developing and Educating Managers and New Decision-makers (DEMaND) Series.

Enterprise Budgeting for Beginning Farm Decision-Makers  

Further develop management skills in agriculture production systems by focusing on enterprise budgets and cost of production, including cost of production, economic profit and understanding enterprise budgets in production agriculture. Organized by MSU’s Developing and Educating Managers and New Decision-makers (DEMaND) Series.

Beginning Fruit

Nothing compares to farm fresh fruit, but growing fruit can be a little more complicated than one would initially think. This session will cover the basics of fruit production and dispel some common myths that viral videos might have led you to believe.

The Rotation Effect

You can’t beat the rotation effect according to research, but we do see some farmers try. In this session we will talk about why rotation is so important to the productivity of our cropping system and explore when a continuous crop could be used.

What MSU Extension can do for You!

Michigan State University Extension has a presence across the mitten, yet it’s been called one of the best kept secrets in Michigan. What is Extension? What do Extension Educators do? What can MSU Extension do for you? This session will have a brief history of Cooperative Extension and will focus on highlighting the resources available through MSU Extension.

Beyond the Farmers Market:  Evaluating Direct Market Channel Opportunities

Where are you selling, or planning to sell your products? How do you make these decisions? We’ll talk about perceptions, realities, pros and cons of farmers markets, farm markets, CSAs, restaurant sales, institutional markets and more!

Soil Health for Beginners:  Caring for Your Farm from the Ground Up

Soil health is a critical part of farming. If you are new to farming or new to the land, this is a perfect time to make a long-term plan. Find out about approaches to learn about your soil and how to support better crop production.

Farm Budgets:  Growing Your Farm Into a Business

How important is a business mindset and farm profits to your opportunities for growth and success? Join as we discuss how attention to details and effective planning can help your farm continue its growth into a successful business. Organized by MSU’s Developing and Educating Managers and New Decision-makers (DEMaND) Series.

Commercial Hydroponic Production

Essential Information for Equipment Purchases - Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) can be a profitable and fulfilling business pursuit for farmers looking to diversify their income streams. Learn the fundamentals of CEA equipment and how to reach profitability faster.

MI Ag Ideas to Grow With is an annual event held during Michigan State University’s ANR Month celebration and draws in over 900 participants each year. Michigan State University Extension educators coordinated the educational offerings for this event. More information about MI Ag Ideas to Grow With can be found at

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