Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County will again offer its Strong Starts program for small-scale agricultural producers wanting practical information and instruction on for-profit farming. The program will be helpful for both home and small-plot producers, including producers who grow for farmers markets or are involved in sustainable foods efforts or community gardens.
The program will take place one day a week over five weeks in July and August. Scheduled program dates are July 9, 16 and 23, and August 6 and 13.
AgriLife Extension specialists join community experts and local growers to teach and advise Strong Starts participants during this program. Each day of instruction over the five-week period will examine an important aspect of successful for-profit farming, and will offer a robust set of information, resources, and hands-on learning opportunities.
The weekly program educational topics will be:
· July 9: Business Planning & Management - Business planning, interactive financing panel, and “infrastructure and income streams” training at certified organic Tecolote Farm.
· July 16: Sustainable Ecosystem Management - Approaching your farm as an ecosystem – soil health, organic pest management and field demonstrations.
· July 23: Cultivation and Methods in Central Texas - Everything you need to know to start your vegetable operation or orchard. Farm training at Boggy Creek Farm.
· Aug. 6: Local Food System and Farmers’ Resources Showcase - Will show participants how to become informed, inspired and connected through presentations by food system insiders.
· Aug. 13: Sales and Marketing - Sell your harvest at local schools, grocers, and farmers markets. Explore Texas Market Maker and learn basic social media use for farmers.
Early bird pricing is available through June 28 at $60 per day for 1-3 program days, $210 for 4 days and $225 for all 5 days. Regular pricing June 29 and after will be $65 per day for 1 - 3 days, $220 for 4 days $240 for all 5 days.
To register, call 979-845-2604 or go to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Conference Services website at http://agriliferegister.tamu.edu and enter “urban” or “farming” in the search field.