What: a farmer-led program for those with a strong commitment to creating a sustainable farm business
Why: to prepare you to start your own farm business
Who: people who have been thinking of starting their own farm and are ready to make a serious plan
Where: Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery, Champaign, Illinois
When: All year, starting on October 18, 2014
Central Illinois Farm Beginnings (CIFB) provides farmer training through three components:
- Nine full-day seminars that focus on intensive business and enterprise planning. Presenters include many successful farmers and business people, as well as University of Illinois and USDA experts. The seminars are held on-site at Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery in Champaign, Illinois Saturdays from October-March.
- Field days and workshops offered through The Land Connection and the Central Illinois Sustainable Farming Network, which provide hands-on instruction in farmer-identified areas of need (March–November).
- Mentorships in which every CIFB participant has the opportunity to engage in a customized season-long relationship with an experienced local farmer (May-September).
CIFB will help you:
- Craft a detailed business plan for your farm, including your vision, mission, goals, and marketing and finance strategies
- Tap into the knowledge of innovative and skilled farmers
- Access opportunities for land and equipment use
- Receive mentoring from a farmer engaged in a similar enterprise
- Develop relationships with many beginning and experienced farmers, plus a wide range of professionals that support small-scale local farmers, including USDA specialists, farmers market managers, accountants, and attorneys
Interested in joining our next CIFB class? Visit our Apply Now page for more details. Hurry! Registration is open now but scholarship applications are only being accepted until September 1, 2014.
Refund policy: The Central Illinois Farm Beginnings application fee is non-refundable. Tuition is refundable under special circumstances to be determined on an individual basis with the farmer training program manager.