For the first time, beginning farmers in Northeast Oregon will have access to the Successful Small Farm Management Course developed by Oregon State University. The four part series is designed for farmers in their first 5 years of farming, people seriously considering starting a farm business, and people considering major changes to their farm. The course will provide farmers with the tools and knowledge to manage the biological and financial risks of farming.

The course will take place Thursdays, 5:00 – 8:30 PM, on April 3, 10 and 24 at OSU Extension Office in La Grande (Island City). The series will also include a Saturday Field Day, April 19, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Pre-registration is required and is limited to 20 participants. Cost is $150 per person, or $250 for co-owners attending at the same time; includes three dinners and one lunch.  Scholarships may be available.

Register online at http://tinyurl.com/Growing-Farms-Registration Registration deadline is: March 28th.

The course includes both classroom and field sessions taught by a mix of OSU faculty, experienced Northeast Oregon farmers and other professionals. Topics include strategic planning, farm finances, marketing, liability and production. Participants gain the skills to assess their farm enterprise and develop a whole farm plan. The Field day will include tours of three different farms, featuring production of annual crops such as mixed vegetables and potatoes, perennial crops such as berries, as well as pasture-based livestock production.

Although the popular course is offered regularly in Western Oregon, it has never before been available in Eastern Oregon. Oregon Rural Action (ORA), NE Oregon Economic Development District and OSU Extension worked together to bring the course to La Grande. “We are excited that after four years of building relationships and support, OSU small farm training is now coming to our region,” says Karen Wagner, Executive Director of ORA. “Last year half-day introductory sessions in La Grande and Ontario filled quickly and participants expressed a real need for the more in-depth education that the full course offers.”

The course was funded in part by a Specialty Crop Grant from the Oregon Department of Agriculture to assist growers of vegetables, culinary herbs and spices, medicinal plants, fruits and tree nuts, nursery stock, floriculture, horticulture, and other specialty crops to start and improve their farming operations and take advantage of market opportunities.

For more information about course content or scholarships, contact Jeff Mathias, 541-975-2411 or jeff@oregonrural.org

OSU Small Farms East 2014 Flyer2.