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.