ITHACA, N.Y. — There is only one guarantee in agriculture or other land-based businesses: “When we improve land health we realize improvements in production, profitability, and social well-being.” So, how do we confirm and/or measure improved land health?
Learn how to read the land as you walk across it, and how to conduct various biological practices, from simple to more complex, with the Cornell Small Farms Program’s new “Reading the Land” online course.
This 4-week intensive course will enable you to begin successfully understanding observations and information you can easily gather from a piece of land. This will allow you to establish a baseline of the land’s health and determine if your management decisions are moving toward what you desire for the land in terms of health and productivity.
In this course you will learn how to:
- Make visual observations
- Develop a monitoring transect
- Collect data
- Summarize and analyze the data you collect
- Use these data to change your management to move the land toward what you want
The bulk of the course happens on your own time, with discussions, readings, and assignments in Teachable, our online course platform. To add to the experience, live webinars will be held during the live instruction period — from September 23 to October 28, 2020, on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. ET. These webinars allow you to meet on a weekly basis to learn from presenters and ask questions in real time. If you miss one, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing.
Meet the Instructor:
Phil Metzger is a farm & natural resources development consultant, retired from a 31-year career as a resource conservationist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Phil instructs on various topics including: biological monitoring, land planning, farm, personal & business financial planning, goal setting, and improved decision making. He is a certified educator of Holistic Management (HM) and has personally practiced HM for over 20 years.
Already a Land-Reading Expert? Check Out Our Other Upcoming Courses
Mondays: September 21 – November 2, 2020
Whether monetizing the effects of silvopasture, learning the logistics of cutting for firewood, tapping for maple syrup, or venturing into mushroom production, this online course will give you the tools necessary to tap into the potential profit of your woodlot.
Mondays: September 21 – October 26, 2020
Are you a beginning farmer? Or are you a current farmer with the desire to switch to an online accounting system? Then our quick guide to Quickbooks is for you. Learn the software’s basic features, such as sales tax, inventory, invoicing, adjustments, and year-end procedures.
Tuesdays: September 22 – October 27, 2020
So you’re thinking about starting a farm, but feeling overwhelmed by all the decisions? This course was designed to assist new and aspiring farmers in taking the first steps in thinking through farm start-up (whether you already have land access or not).
The Cornell Small Farms Program’s suite of online courses are accessed on a user-friendly platform which grants registrants permanent access to their course content. Also, courses have tiered pricing from $199 – $299, based on household size and income to make access to the courses more affordable and equitable for everyone.
We offer more than 20 online courses to help farmers improve their technical and business skills. These courses cover a range of topics any farmer needs to succeed, such as beekeeping, holistic financial planning, soil health, vegetable farming, and so much more. Experienced farmers and extension educators guide students through course content, including weekly live webinars, videos, and resources.
The bulk of the course happens on your own time, with discussions, readings, and assignments in Teachable, our online course platform. To add to the experience, webinars will be woven into the interface of the course for a dedicated time slot each year to allow you to meet on a weekly basis to learn from presenters and ask questions in real time. If you miss one, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing.
You can browse all of our course offerings on our website.
–Cornell Small Farms Program