As the demand for local, sustainably grown food continues to rise, farmers and aspiring farmers are working to meet the demand through the creation of small-scale farm businesses. 

To encourage the continued growth of these entrepreneurial farm enterprises and address the needs of a new generation of aspiring farmers, the University of Illinois Extension and The Land Connection are collaborating to host the workshop Is Entrepreneurial Farming for You? 

The workshop will be offered at three locations in Central Illinois in late June and early July.

"The three-and-a-half-hour workshop is designed to help people who want to get their feet wet in sustainable farming learn what it takes to start and manage a farm-based business, and decide whether this is the path they are ready to take," said Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant, Extension Small Farm and Sustainable Agriculture Extension Specialist.

Is Entrepreneurial Farming for You? will cover resource assessment, goal-setting, financial planning, and marketing options. 

"Workshop participants will have the opportunity to meet experienced sustainable farmers, other prospective farmers, and graduates of the 12-month farmer-training program Central Illinois Farm Beginnings," said Micah Bornstein, Farmer Programs Coordinator with The Land Connection.

The workshops will be held in University of Illinois Extension offices from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. according to the following schedule:

  • Thursday, June 30, at the Sangamon County Office, 2501 North 8th Street, Illinois State Fairgrounds, Building  #30, Springfield
  • Thursday, July 7, at the McLean County Office, 402 North Hershey Road, Bloomington
  • Thursday, July 14, at the Peoria County Office, 4810 North Sheridan, Peoria

The workshops will be facilitated by Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant, Extension Specialist, Small Farm and Sustainable Agriculture, with the University of Illinois Extension, and Micah Bornstein, Farmer Programs Coordinator with The Land Connection.

Registration for each workshop is $30 and includes a light supper. Payment can be processed online at http://central.illinoisfarmbeginnings.org or you may contact The Land Connection at 217-688-2570.

University of Illinois Extension is a statewide educational network that links the resources and research of the University of Illinois to the people of Illinois.  The programs and workshops, which take place throughout the state, address issues involving youth, families, community development, agriculture and natural resources. For more information, please visit http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/state/.

If reasonable accommodations are needed in order to participate in any of the programs, call 217-241-4644. The Land Connection is a 501(c)3 educational non-profit organization that works to ensure successful farmers, healthy farmland and an abundance of delicious local and organic food by training beginning farmers and facilitating sustainable farmland successions. For more information, please visit www.thelandconnection.org or contact Cathe Capel at 217-688-2570 or cathe@thelandconnection.org.

Source: Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant