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Minnesota Ag News Headlines
LSP's Farm Beginnings Course Going Virtual for 2020-21
Minnesota Ag Connection - 08/05/2020

The Land Stewardship Project is moving beginning farmer training online this year! The 2020-2021 Farm Beginnings class will take place online, starting in November. This year-long training program focuses on the goal setting, marketing, and financial skills needed to establish a successful farm business. Classes will take place in an online setting November through March, with on-farm educational events to follow later in 2021.

The class cost is $1,000, which covers up to two individuals per farm. Applications are due Sept. 15 and applications that are received before Aug. 15 (and accepted) will receive a $100 discount.

Farm Beginnings has always been and will continue to be:

- Farmer-led: Class participants will hear from regional farmers about their farms and how they've implemented goal setting, marketing, and financial management practices.

- Community based: Applicants from Minnesota, western Wisconsin, and northern Iowa will be given priority because LSP is best able to provide resources and connections in this area. If you are located elsewhere, check out the Farm Beginnings Collaborative website (http://farmbeginningscollaborative.org/) to see if there is an organization near you offering Farm Beginnings.

- Focused on sustainable agriculture: All farmers are encouraged to create a farm plan that is economically, socially, and ecologically sustainable.

Applications can be found at landstewardshipproject.org/morefarmers/farmbeginningsapplication

More information and application materials can be found at landstewardshipproject.org/morefarmers/farmbeginningsclass or by contacting Annelie Livingston-Anderson at 612-217-0553 or annelie@landstewardshipproject.org. Scholarships are available as well as a Minnesota Beginning Farmer Tax Credit for the cost of the class (Minnesota residents).

What's new this year:

- Online meetings instead of in-person.

- More, shorter sessions instead of 9 full-day sessions (some or all of those sessions will be weekday evenings instead of primarily on Saturdays). Due to a reduction in in-class time, there will most likely be an increase in self-led work time outside of sessions.

- Tuition will drop from $1,500 per farm to $1,000 per farm.

- Increased scholarships based on documented financial need.

- Early bird deadline shifted from Aug. 1 to Aug. 15.

- Final application deadline shifted from Sept. 1 to Sept. 15.

- Start date shifted from late October to late November.


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