From Beekeeping to Business Planning: Register Now for Block Four Courses

Register now to learn about business management, soil health, specialty mushrooms, beekeeping, business plans, high tunnels, and grazing. Courses fill up quickly and registration closes for block four in just one month.

Block Four Courses Start the Week of February 25

Registration closes for block four on Sunday, February 17 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
We strongly encourage you to register early to avoid being shut out of courses.

Taking Care of Business

This course helps aspiring and beginning farmers assess and manage a variety of risks that a farmer will face as they operate their enterprise. Throughout the six-week period, topics essential for operating a viable farm business will be discussed, including insurance coverage, types of business structures, and tax information.

Soil Health

The health and productivity of the soil forms the basis for any farm’s success, profitability, and ecological sustainability. Successful farmers need to develop a holistic approach to preserving and building soil health and fertility. Stewardship of the soil is arguably the most important job of any farmer or gardener.

Indoor Specialty Mushroom Cultivation

Mushrooms are an emerging niche crop with many benefits and offer a unique and highly desired product. This course trains new and experienced farmers in the background, techniques, and economics of farm scale indoor commercial production.

Introduction to Beekeeping

Whether you are currently keeping honey bees, or are considering adding them to your farm, a basic understanding of bee biology, diseases, pests and setting up your colony for success are essential. This course is taught by experienced beekeepers and will give you real-world experiences paired with academic concepts.

Writing a Business Plan

Whether you intend to borrow money or not, heading into a farm venture without a business plan is like setting out on a long-distance journey without a map. Arm yourself with a business plan to aid your farm decision-making and demonstrate to yourself and your family that your ideas are feasible.

Season Extension with High Tunnels

Adding weeks to either end of your growing season can mean attaining a premium for having products available well before (or long after) other local growers. The unheated plastic-covered “high tunnels” can cost a lot of money, and they bring special management considerations that need to be understood in order to be profitable additions to your farm.

Grazing Management

With sound grazing management, you can reduce your workload, keep your animals happier and healthier, and improve the overall productivity and profitability of your farm. Well-managed grazing systems also provide greater environmental benefits and enhance habitat for many wildlife species.

The Small Farms Program offers more than 20 courses to help farmers improve their technical and business skills. Most courses are six weeks long, and each week features an evening webinar with follow-up readings, videos, and activities. Students and their instructors connect through online forums and live chat. If you aren’t able to attend the webinars in real-time, they are always recorded for later viewing.

You can check out the listings on our site for more information on a particular course and the instructors. Course tuition entitles two people from a farm to attend. Learn more about registration, payment, computer requirements, and more on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you still have questions, you can contact our online course managers:
Erica Frenay at
Steve Gabriel at

Kacey Deamer

Kacey is the Communications Manager for the Cornell Small Farms Program. In this role, she manages all storytelling and outreach across the program’s website, social media, e-newsletter, magazine and more. Kacey has worked in communications and journalism for more than a decade, with a primary focus on science and sustainability.
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  1. Avatar of Bill Haley Bill Haley on February 4, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    Do you know when the berry class might be Available again?

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