"Grow Your Farm" is an educational program offered by University of Missouri Extension that is designed to help landowners interested in farming for the first time and current farmers wanting to start new enterprises.
"Grow Your Farm" includes eight class sessions and two farm tours.
"The course is designed to connect people investing in a farm career with successful farm operators and business experts," said Dr. Amy Patillo, a community development specialist with MU Extension in Howell County.
The course is being offered at the Howell County MU Extension office in West Plains. Classes meet once a week from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. starting Dec. 1 and continuing through Jan. 26, 2016.
Sessions will focus on business planning and selecting enterprises that can be profitable, based on an individual's skills and resources. Planning a farm, keeping track of finances, marketing farm products and understanding legal issues are a few of the topics addressed.
"This is a unique opportunity for growers and producers to connect with MU Extension specialists in horticulture, agriculture business, natural resources and community development. These specialists can offer their expertise in small farm production, marketing, and increasing outcomes for small farm profitability," said Patrick Byers, a horticulture specialist with MU Extension who will help with the course.
A fee of $300 per household or operation (for two participants) includes courses and one set of materials. Each additional person per household/operation may attend for $50 per person. This includes the cost of a course notebook, additional textbook, and group sessions with guest speakers, farm tours, and refreshments.
For more information contact Dr. Amy Patillo at the Howell County Extension office by telephone at (417) 256-2391 or online at http://extension.missouri.edu/howell.