"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 and will connect people investing in a farm career with successful farm operators and business experts according to Patrick Byers and Tim Schnakenberg, horticulture and agronomy specialists with MU Extension.
The course is being offered at the Hollister City Hall in Hollister. Classes meet monthly from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. starting April 18 and continuing through Oct. 24. Two classes will meet in April.
Sessions will focus on business planning and selecting enterprises that can be profitable, based on an individual's skills and resources. Planning the farm, keeping track of finances, marketing farm products and understanding legal issues are some of the topics addressed.
"This is a unique opportunity for growers and producers to connect with University of Missouri 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 Byers.
Scholarships — through a grant with Missouri Enterprise, the City of Hollister and the USDA — to cover the training fee of $200 are available to the first ten registrants.
The training fee covers two people from a farm or household and includes the cost of a course notebook, additional textbook, and group sessions with guest speakers, farm tours, and refreshments. Each additional person per household/operation may attend for $50 per person.
For more information contact Patrick Byers at the Greene County Extension office by telephone at (417) 881-8909 or online at http://extension.missouri.edu/greene. Registration for the Grow Your Farm program will be through the Taney County Extension Office, at 417-546-4431.