Learn to Grow Your Farm, from Berries and Veggies to Pigs and Poultry, with our Production-Focused Block Two Courses

Our new season of online courses is underway, and now’s the time to register for our upcoming block two courses. With webinars starting the week of October 30, our second block of courses focuses on production strategies from berries and veggies to poultry and pigs.

Our suite of online courses is offered on a user-friendly platform, which grants registrants permanent access to their course content. Also, courses have tiered pricing based on household size and income to make access to the courses more affordable and equitable for everyone.

Registration is open for all courses, with live content starting at the end of the month for our second block of courses.

Cut Flower Production: Introduction to the Business of Flower Farming

Mondays: October 30 – December 4

Flowers can be more costly than profitable or enjoyable, unless you have background knowledge on production techniques and a solid plan for selling them. This course will introduce you to the topics, resources and questions you’ll need to answer if you intend to operate a flower farm or add flower production as one component of an established business.

Farm Woodlot Management: Assessing the Economic Potential of a Managed Forest

Mondays: October 30 – December 4

Farmers and woodland owners need to recognize the potential values of their woodland resource. This course will teach you about the methods to assess forest resources and discuss common woodland activities such as cutting firewood, harvesting logs for mushroom cultivation, and support for wildlife and long-term forest health.

Poultry Production: Profiting from Layers, Broilers, Turkeys, and Ducks

Tuesdays: October 31 – December 5

Many new farmers get started with poultry, but the margins can be slim and farmers need to develop the necessary skill set to produce a product that is both safe and profitable. This course will help you get started with all the basic information to build a successful poultry enterprise.

Getting Started with Pastured Pigs: Developing a Successful Farm Business with Pigs

Wednesdays: November 1 – December 6

Pigs can function as a profitable stand-alone enterprise or can be integrated into your existing farm structure to provide a variety of products and make use of marginal lands that would otherwise go unused. This course guides beginning farmers through the production and marketing of pigs raised in pasture settings.

Outdoor Mushroom Cultivation: Growing Mushrooms on Logs, Stumps, and Woodchips

Wednesdays: November 1 – December 6

Mushrooms are an emerging niche crop with many benefits, including improving farmer stewardship of forested lands and the ability to offer a unique and highly desired product. This course trains new and experienced farmers in the background, techniques, and economics of outdoor mushroom production.

Intro to Maple Syrup Production: Sugaring for Profit

Thursdays: November 2 – December 14 (skipping the week of Thanksgiving)​

Maple syrup production is rapidly growing around the Northeast and offers a sound financial opportunity to utilize woodlots. This course explores the range possibilities of maple sugaring on your land – be it for supplemental income or for your livelihood. Also discussed are “alternative” trees for production, including Birch and Black Walnut.

​Vegetable Production I​: From Planning to Planting

Mondays: November 6 – December 18 (skipping the week of Thanksgiving)​

This course will help you answer basic questions about site selection, crop rotation, seeding and transplanting, as well as the financial aspects of vegetable crop production. Afterward take Vegetable Production II, the continuation of this course, which will guide you through the growing season from planting to harvest.

Berry Production: Getting Started with Growing and Marketing Berries

Tuesdays: November 7 – December 12

If you’re exploring the idea of adding berries and bramble fruits to your farm, this course will help you consider all the aspects of this decision, from varieties and site selection all the way through profit potential and marketing. 

Our program offers nearly three dozen 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 soil health, holistic financial planning, sheep production, grazing management, and so much more. Experienced farmers, extension educators, and agriculture service providers guide students through course content, including weekly live webinars, videos, and resources.

New additions to our online course suite include “Growing Uncommon Fruit,” which will help you determine whether incorporating uncommon fruit into your operation is the right decision for you, and “Farm Strategies for Farmer Well-Being” on strategies to make your farm feel more manageable.

In addition to new courses, we are expanding our Spanish-first online course offerings with our “BF 101: Cómo Iniciar su Negocio Agrícola,” “BF 102: Mercados y Rentabilidad,” and “BF 204: QuickBooks para Negocios Agrícolas” (el cursó se lanzará a principios del 2024).

Last year we added “Goat Production,” which guides beginning farmers through the production and marketing of goats for dairy, meat and fiber, and “Identifying and Partnering with Mushrooms in Farms, Gardens and Forests” to teach you basic ID, species, life cycle, and potential applications of mushrooms to solve community-level challenges. In recent years we’ve also added: “Access to Capital” for anyone seeking funding for a farm enterprise; “Cut Flower Production” on the business of flower farming; a course on “Beef Cattle Management;” a primer on “Social Media & Online Marketing” for your farm business; and a 4-week intensive in how “Reading the Land” can help you monitor its health.

Our growing team of online course instructors includes experienced farmers, extension educators, and agriculture service providers. 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. You can learn more about our courses, including answers to common questions, on our course FAQ.

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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