You are here

Course Calendar

2017-18 Course Calendar*

November 18: Whole Farm Planning

  • Clarifying values: what has brought you to Central Illinois Farm Beginnings?
  • Setting goals: what do you hope to accomplish?  
  • Introduction to the structure and rationale of a business plan
  • SWOT analysis
  • Resource assessment
  • Real-life farm business plan examples   

December 2: Fun with Financial Statements

  • Enterprise budgets 
  • Big 3 Financial Statements: Income Statement, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow Statement
  • Farm scale, capitalization, labor, taxes    ​

December 16: Systems Planning, Record-Keeping, & Legal Issues

  • Agroecology and soil health
  • Business structures
  • GAPS/FSMA record-keeping
  • Production record-keeping
  • Insurance and risk management

January 6: Marketing your farm products 

  • Introduction to marketing and the four "P's"
  • Marketing to chefs, restaurants, institutions
  • Using social media marketing
  • Farmer's markets, co-ops, food hubs and beyond

January/February: Individual Consultations

  • Two-hour personal consultation with course facilitator and mentor
  • Farm proposal review
  • Business plan evaluation

February 17: Financing Your Farm Business & Farm Plan Presentations

  • Financing your farm
  • Loans, grants, and other options
  • Student Business Plan Presentations

March 3 and 10 reserved as make-up sessions in the event of weather-related cancellation.

March-September: Individual Mentorship

October 7: Post-season Business Plan Updates

  • Student presentations, post-season
  • Annual potluck


*NOTE: while dates of classes are confirmed, the timing of individual lessons and topics within those dates is still subject to change.