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NE Beginning Farmers will host online courses

ITHACA, N.Y. -- With the growing season at its peak, it's hard to believe that the "down" season is just a couple months away. Use that slow season wisely to continue your farming education with a selection of 12 online courses. Registration is open now and some courses fill quickly, so be sure to check them out soon!

Courses offered by Northeast Beginning Farmer project are taught by experienced Cooperative Extension educators, farmers, and other specialists. Courses are 6 weeks long, cost $200, and include both real-time meetings (online webinars) and on-your-own time reading and activities. Academic credit is not offered, but those who successfully complete a course will receive a certificate and are also eligible for Farm Service Agency (FSA) borrower training credit, which can improve eligibility to receive a low-interest FSA loan.

They've planned several courses that will help you build the "invisible infrastructure" of your farm business.

Introductory-level courses for those still in the exploring and early planning stages:
BF 101: Square One and BF 102: Markets and Profits are back to help you get clear about your goals, skills, and available resources, and explore possibilities for selling products and making money as a farmer.
BF 202: Planning to Stay in Business is for those well beyond that stage and ready to write a full business plan. It will help you prepare to seek funding from banks and other lenders
BF 103: Taking Care of Business is for the beginner looking for information about the legal, regulatory, insurance, and tax implications of running a farm business. 
BF 104: Financial Records is for those needing some guidance setting up financial recordkeeping systems.
BF 203: Holistic Financial Planning will help you get serious about profitability after a few years of production and take control of your farm's financial situation. 
BF 201: Effective Marketing for the Busy Farmer will help you refocus your marketing efforts to sell more product with less work.   
BF 106: Organic Certification is focused on those thinking of going organic.
Also offered are production-related courses, including:
BF 120 and BF 121: Veggie Farming, a two-part course back by popular demand. BF 120 covers the planning, budgeting, site selection, and planting, while BF 121 will pick up where BF 120 leaves off and take you through considerations in season-long care, harvest, and marketing.
BF 130: Poultry Production will cover the basic requirements of producing and profiting from chickens, ducks, and turkeys.  
BF 122: Berry Production brings together experts to provide you with the latest and best information about siting, pest and weed management, varieties, and marketing berries and small fruits.

To learn more about each course, please visit http://nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses. From this site you can learn more about the instructors, see answers to Frequently Asked Questions, read details for each course, and view the calendar of course offerings for 2013-2014.

Courses often fill very quickly, so don't miss your chance to sign up today!