EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan State University Extension Beginning Farmer Webinar Series completed its eighth year with fifteen new webinars on a variety of farming topics of interest to beginners. These recorded webinars are available for free viewing on the MSU Extension Beginning Farmer Webinar Series webpage. Or, you can access them directly using the links below:
“Getting started with…”
- Seed starting and transplant production
- Reduced tillage vegetable growing
- Managing your farm woodlot
- Choosing apple varieties and rootstocks for your new orchard
- Organic matter basics
- Fertilizer basics
- Livestock basics
- Raising rabbits
- The Food Safety Modernization Act: Am I covered?
- USDA and SARE programs for beginning farmers
- Pest management systems compared
- U-Pick farming
- Essentials of farm accounting
- Developing a balance sheet
- Calculating farm profitability
There are many more webinar recordings, dating from 2012 through 2017, on the MSU Extension Beginning Farmer Webinar Series webpage. Have a look through the titles and view any recordings of interest.
Three hundred and three people participated in the live webinar series in 2018. Of these, 95 people completed a follow-up, online evaluation. Most respondents felt the series was a valuable use of their time and they gained very much or quite a bit of knowledge. In addition:
- 54 percent began cultivating a crop in Michigan
- 44 percent diversified or expanded a farm or other ag business
- 26 percent started a new business
- 23 percent began a new livestock or poultry enterprise
- 20 percent purchased farm equipment
- 17 percent of 88 respondents (15 people) indicated that new jobs have been created, totaling 15jobs
- 11 percent improved their standing at a current job, or when applying for a new job
- Five percent decided not to cultivate a crop due to increased understanding of costs and risks
- Three percent established new business partners
New and expanding farm businesses provide jobs, income, increased economic and social stability, and increased food security to rural and other communities. Providing basic, practical information on sound production practices, business management and marketing to people interested in, or already engaging in, new and expanding farm enterprises of any size helps these small businesses succeed.
Contact Jim Isleib at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the MSU Extension Beginning Farmer Webinar Series.
— James Isleib, Michigan State University Extension
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