New webinar series for beginning farmers begins January 2018

The Beginning Farmer Webinar Series provides an information boost to new farm businesses. A new series will begin Jan. 17, 2018.

New farm businesses provide jobs, income and increased economic and social stability, and increased food security to rural and other communities. People thinking about getting started in new farm businesses often need basic information. Michigan State University Extension helps fill that need with the annual Beginning Farmer Webinar Series.

Providing basic, practical information about new farm enterprises helps these small businesses develop sound production and marketing plans. These webinars help make this happen, reaching 1,171 people with live, online webinars since 2012.

A new Beginning Farmer Webinar Series for 2018 is planned for January through April 2018. Presenters include MSU Extension educators and other subject specialists. Based on feedback from participants, the presentations have been shortened to 30 or 60 minutes each, plus a chat-based “question and answer” period.

The following Zoom-based webinars will provide valuable start-up information on 15 general and more specific farming topics, including:

 “Getting started with...”

  • Jan. 17: Seed starting and transplant production
  • Jan. 24: Reduced tillage vegetable growing
  • Jan. 31: Managing your farm woodlot
  • Feb. 7: Choosing apple varieties and rootstocks for your new orchard
  • Feb. 14: Organic matter basics
  • Feb. 21: Fertilizer basics
  • Feb. 28: Livestock basics
  • March 7: Raising rabbits
  • March 14: Food Safety Modernization Act: Am I covered?
  • March 21: USDA and SARE programs for beginning farmers
  • March 28: Pest management systems compared
  • April 4: U-Pick farming
  • April 11: Farm business basics #1: Simple essentials of farm accounting
  • April 18: Farm business basics #2: Develop a balance sheet
  • April 25: Farm business basics #3: Calculate farm profitability

A fee of $5 per webinar is required, or you can register for the entire series at half-price for $37.50. Webinar recordings will be provided to all registered participants. Participate from the comfort and convenience of your own home or office.

Registration, a brochure containing details on each individual program, and online or mailed payment options can be found at Beginning Farmer Webinar Series 2018. You may register for all or some of the courses at any time, even if the session has already taken place. In that case, you will get a link to the recorded program. 

Each program begins on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. Eastern Time. Presentations will be followed by a question-and-answer period. A high-speed internet connection is required. You will receive webinar connection information after you register.

Contact the Alger County MSU Extension office at 906-387-2530 or for more information.

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