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Cultivating Success Is Growing Profitable Farms

‘Buying local’ seems to be on everyone’s list of resolutions. The popularity of keeping dollars in local circulation is gaining momentum. For farmers, capturing a larger share of this trend is crucial to growth and longevity. New farmers must look at their farm like any new business venture, while existing operations must carefully evaluate how any changes can affect land, labor, capital, resources, and profitability.

WSU Snohomish and King County Extension in partnership with King & Snohomish Conservation Districts will offer Cultivating Success: Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Farm Business Planning to help new and current farmers gain skills in business planning and direct marketing.

The course runs Monday evenings January 8, 2018 through March 12, 2018, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. We’ll be using web technology to simulcast the course between two Puget Sound locations so more students can participate closer to home. The two locations are Stanwood and Renton, WA.

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, “The unique opportunity to meet fellow successful farmers and business mentors is one of a kind.” “By the end of the course I had a farm business plan that I could take to the bank.” and  “The opportunity to evaluate my enterprise and make informed decisions is invaluable, after all the best place to make mistakes is on paper.”

Our course facilitator is Holly Small, a local agriculture teacher and small farmer. Small has been leading, developing, and expanding the Cultivating Success series since 2009 to excellent reviews. During that time, she’s become a go-to authority for local farms and farmers looking to expand opportunities and production while developing a long-term sustainable operation. Small is a WSU graduate in animal science and agriculture economics with an MS in agriculture education. In addition, she spent several years working for Northwest Farm Credit Services as a loan officer and the Nestle Regional Training Center at Carnation Farm as their public relations and conference center manager.

Class size is limited and usually fills quickly. Pre-paid registration is required. Cost for the twelve-week course is $300 for either location. To register, visit or download the form at and mail with your check. For more information on the course, contact Kate Ryan, (425)

Extension programs and policies are consistent with federal and state laws and regulations on nondiscrimination regarding race, color, gender, national origin, religion, age, disability, and sexual orientation. Evidence of non-compliance may be reported through your local Extension Office. Reasonable accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities and special needs who contact Karie Christensen at 600 128th St SE, Everett, WA (425) 357-6039 at least two weeks prior to the event.

Earlier Event: December 20
Photovoice Exhibit (Darrington)
Later Event: January 13
Jumpstart Your Yard: SOLD OUT!