WSU Cultivating Success Program Graduates Two Classes

Taught by Holly Small, with assistance by Kate Ryan (WSU) and Bobbi Lindemulder (SCD), and in Renton it was facilitated by Liz Clark from King CD, and Kevin Wright (King County Director WSU), here are photos of the graduates from the 2017 winter class of the Cultivating Success 8-week New Farmer/Rancher Course, and the 2018 spring class of the Cultivating Success 10-week Ag Business Entrepreneurship Course.

Both classes were hosted by Klesick Farms at their packing warehouse in partnership with King and Snohomish Counties WSU Extension. It was simultaneously broadcast between Klesicks in Stanwood and Renton WSU office.

These individuals are new and beginning farmers who hope to start their dreams of farming, and the ones who have a plan in mind. They take the classes to thoughtfully establish the business plan to move forward as a successful enterprise.

We wish them all luck!

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Course

The award-winning Cultivating Success series of courses were developed to help fill that need, and make the connection between farmers new and old.

First in the series, the Sustainable Small-Acreage Farming and Ranching helps participants explore the unique advantages available to the small farm and ranch owner. Sponsored by WSU King County Extension, King County, and King Conservation District, the course gives participants a broad overview of production and marketing options for todayโ€™s small farm. Whether you are just exploring the opportunities available or already have an existing operation, youโ€™ll learn what it takes to create, sustain, and grow a viable small farm enterprise.

Weekly presentations include local growers, organizations, and university specialists with expertise in direct marketing, value-added processing, production planning, agronomy, livestock production, and more. In addition, there will be a Saturday field trip to nearby farms to learn about different styles of successful small farm enterprises.

Agriculture Entrepreneurship and Business

One of two foundation courses in the Cultivating Success program, Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Farm Business Planning helps new and current farmers gain skills in business planning and direct marketing.

This in-depth business planning course covers evaluating resources, planning and research, legal and management issues, marketing strategies, budgets and financial statements along with how to cultivate capital resources.

During the course, participants develop a business plan they can literally take to the bank to finance a new enterprise or expand an existing farm-based business. In addition, the course will have a special emphasis on the financial and legal issues unique to farm-based businesses.

The course features a full line-up of local guest speakers including bankers, business professionals, and successful farm owners with a special emphasis on the financial and legal issues unique to farm-based businesses. During the course, participants are guided in developing a business plan they can use to help finance and guide a new enterprise or expand an existing farm-based business.

Comments from recent graduates include:

  • โ€œThe unique opportunity to meet fellow successful farmers and business mentors is one of a kind.โ€

  • โ€œBy the end of the course I had a farm business plan that I could take to the bank.โ€

  • โ€œThe opportunity to evaluate my enterprise and make informed decisions is invaluable. After all, the best place to make mistakes is on paper.โ€