Digging into Farming: Planning Your New Farm Business




The Digging into Farming Course is intended for prospective farmers who are ready to stop dreaming and start developing realistic goals, clarify their farm vision, evaluate their options, and to begin identifying the resources and knowledge they already have and those they need to acquire. You will come out of this course with a greater understanding of the different assets, skills and resources needed to launch a new farm business, access to a range of available resources and learning opportunities, a broader peer group, as well as connections to local and technical coaches, mentors and advisors.

Digging Into Farming is a prerequisite course for those entering the Start -Up Farm program .


Digging into Farming Windsor 2016
When: February 6 & 13th
Time:  10am to 3:30pm
Where: United Way of Windsor-Essex County, 300 Giles Blvd E, Windsor, ON
Cost:  $200 $150 per person/$360 $270 per farming pair – a 25% discount with the support of the Windsor Essex Community Garden Collective!
Facilitator:   Joe Grootenboer of River Bell Market Garden
Registration Survey must be completed to register

There will also be two Local Community Scholarship Spaces available for deserving community members who want to take the course. Speak to Steve Green at the Community Garden Collective for more info. 


Digging into Farming Kapuskasing
When: Sundays February 21st and 28th
Time: 10am to 3:30pm
Location: 3 Aurora Avenue, College Boreal Kapuskasing, Kapuskasing
Price: $50/person, includes lunch on both days
Taught by: Tarrah Young
Facilitated by: André Robichaud, Kapuskasing Economic Development Corporation

Registration Survey must be completed to register

This will be held partially via video conference.  André Robichaud will be the on-site facilitator in and he will lead discussions and contribute local content. Since this is a pilot effort to bring FarmStart programming to Northern Ontario with a combination of remote facilitation and local resources, the cost is reduced.  Thanks to our partners for making this possible: the Kapuskasing Economic Development Corporation, NORDIK Institute at Algoma University, FedNor and Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC).


Digging Into Farming – Webinar!
When: February 21 & 28
Time:  10am to 3:30pm
Where: Your home computer (or host a small group of new farmers in your area!)
Cost:  $50 per person
Facilitator: Tarrah Young of Green Being Farm

Registration Survey must be completed to register

If you’ve been wanting to take the Digging Into Farming course but it hasn’t come to your area, this webinar is for you! The webinar will be run in conjunction with the course in Kapuskasing. Registration deadline is Tuesday February 16th.


This course is right for you if:

  • You are a new farmer who is actively committed to farming as a business and are looking for support in starting to plan your farm businesses and take those first steps.
  • You would answer yes to most of the following questions

Do you feel that you:

  • Have the personal traits and skills required for farming?
  • Have the time, energy and commitment to run a farm business?
  • Understand the financial risks and rewards of farming?
  • Understand the capital investment you might need to make?
  • Are aware of the regulatory environment that you would be working in?
  • Know how to gain the necessary on-farm experience you may need?

What to Expect

Digging Into Farming is a 2-day course facilitated by farmers who have gone through a similar process of starting their own farm business. Key take-away lessons or tools that past participants have received include:

  • a simple framework for understanding farm business planning.
  • sharing lessons learned by experienced farmer facilitators and  panelists.
  • representatives in the banking and accounting sector, speak to questions of financing, taxation and business structure.
  • completing an online Action Plan.
  •  access to a comprehensive website of business planning resources for new farmers.
  • Note: you will not prepare a business plan during the course, however you will come out of the course prepared to do this.

Course outline

Day One

  1. Farm Foundations (business goals)
  2. Choosing Farm Products & Services
  3. Business Planning
  4. Marketing
  5. Production

Day Two

  1. Human Resources
  2. Farmland
  3. Business Start-up
  4. Financing Your Business
  5. Financial Management (including key financial documents i.e cash flow, income statement, statement of net worth)
  6. Action Plan

 What past participants have said about Digging Into Farming

 “Although I already have a background in farming, this course provided resources which I did not know were out there to help me set my goals in motion.”

 “Great information from The Scotia Bank rep and BDO rep, and the farmer panel was fantastic!”

 “It gave me more information than I could have hoped for, and helped me to focus on what to do next.” “Exceeded expectations on the amount of information shared.”




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