|| August 29, 2008
|| Arno Bergstrom,
County Director, WSU Kitsap County Extension
"Cultivating Success" Small Farming Courses
to be taught in Poulsbo and Port Orchard
(Bremerton, WA) Small- and mid-sized family farms have unique advantages that larger-scale operations do not enjoy. They can quickly adapt to new markets. They tend to be viewed positively by their neighbors. And they can meet growing consumer demand for local sustainably-raised products.
But how do smaller farms identify and use the advantages of their size? This is a key question in semester-long courses offered this fall in Kitsap County.
"Sustainable Small-Acreage Farming and Ranching" will help participants find answers to this question. The course gives students a broad overview of production and marketing options on today's small farm. Participants will include established farmers seeking to sustain their existing operations as well as beginning farmers.
"This course was designed for beginning farmers and for current producers who are interested in taking their farm in a new direction," said Arno Bergstrom, County Director - WSU Kitsap County Extension. The final product is a whole farm plan that students will use to evaluate their goals and resources, and help them to assess what type of small farm enterprise is right for them. They also leave this class with a network of professional contacts and farmer mentors that they can turn to for advice and support.
Course topics include:
Sustainable Agriculture Concepts
Whole Farm Planning
Development of a Market
Sustainable Crop Production
Ecological Soils Management
Integrated Pest & Weed Management
Sustainable Livestock & Poultry
Intensive Grazing Management
Equipment & Facilities
Tools for Whole Farm Success
Course presenters include successful local producers and university specialists with expertise in direct marketing, value-added processing, production planning, and more. Participants will have a chance to conduct farm tours and field visits to see different operations and processing options up close.
If you are currently operating a small farm or would like to explore an idea for a farming operation and want to learn what it takes to succeed with your operation or idea , sign up for the Cultivating Success Small Ranching and Farming course to be taught in Poulsbo or Port Orchard. The Poulsbo Class will run Wednesday evenings 6:30-9 P.M. from September 17 to December 10, 2008 at the Island Lake Community Center 1087 Island lake Road, Poulsbo. The Port Orchard Class will run Thursday evenings 6:30-9 P.M. from September 18 to December 11, 2008 at the Bob Oke Community Center located at Long Lake Park 5448 Long Lake Rd SE, Port Orchard, WA. The registration is $225 per farm/family.
Enrollment is still open.
This course is part of the Cultivating Success series, a collaboration of Washington State University's Small Farms Team, University of Idaho Extension and the non-profit Rural Roots.
For more details contact:
Arno Bergstrom, County Director
WSU Kitsap County Extension
345 6th Street Suite 550
Bremerton, WA 98337-1874
To register: contact WSU Kitsap County Extension at 360-337-7225 for a registration form or download it from
http://kitsap.wsu.edu/ag/sustainable_ag_class.htm. Payment of the $225 provides one set of materials per farm. Checks need to be made out to WSU Extension. No credit or bank cards can be accepted.
Extension programs and policies are consistent with federal and state laws and regulations on nondiscrimination regarding race, sex, religion, age, color, creed, national or ethnic origin; physical, mental or sensory disability; marital status, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era or disabled veteran. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local Extension office.