LOCKPORT, N.Y. — Would you like to learn how to grow and sell vegetables, flowers and herbs for profit? Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County’s will again offer the Beginning Farmer Training Program, a hands-on certificate program for aspiring and beginning farmers in Western, NY.
From June 8th – October 5th, this season-long program will teach students the business of profitable market gardening and give them experience in taking a crop from seed to sale. Students will get a unique and comprehensive education by growing produce in CCE’s one-acre Field Lab and from experienced farmers and industry experts in the classroom. The entire course has been redesigned to fit health and safety guidelines due to Covid-19.
Participants will get their hands dirty with a curriculum that starts in the field and continues in the classroom – from learning soil fertility management and proper harvest techniques to sales and marketing – every module is designed to give students the confidence and know-how to take their farm business idea to the next level.
Over the course of four months, participants will develop production and management skills including field production, crop planning, marketing and farm business management.
CCE Niagara is committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all members of our community and strongly encourages aspiring farmers from all backgrounds to apply. Previous gardening experience is a plus, but not necessary. Applicants should be committed to learning and passionate about developing a profitable farming enterprise. Strong commitment and effort is required and solid time management skills are essential. Applicants will need to feel comfortable in an educational setting. Parts of the class may require intensive physical effort, a willingness to be outside in adverse weather conditions and to function positively in a team and as part of a collaborative work environment.
The deadline to apply for the program is Friday, May 21st. To apply for the Beginner Farmer Training Program, please visit cceniagaracounty.org. For more information, please call Rich Woodbridge at 716-433-8839 X240.
About the Instructor: Rich Woodbridge is owner and operator of McCollum Orchards & Gardens, a diversified fruit and vegetable farm in the city of Lockport, NY. The farm has been in his family for over 190 years. He and his wife run a 150-member Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and sell produce to restaurants and at local farmers markets. Rich earned his MBA from UC San Diego and specialized in market research and rural economic development before taking over the family farm in 2011.
About Cornell Cooperative Extension:
Cornell Cooperative Extension puts knowledge to work in pursuit of economic vitality, ecological sustainability, and social well-being. We bring local experience and research-based solutions together, helping New York State families and communities thrive in our rapidly changing world. Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities. Please contact our office if you have any special needs.
— Cornell Cooperative Extension
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