Farm Business Planning Course

Farming can be a wonderful lifestyle, but achieving financial success requires a view of farming first and foremost as a business. Beginning farmers must look at their farm as a new business with all the careful planning that entails, while existing operations must carefully evaluate how diversification or expansion might impact land, labor, capital, and management resources.

WSU Snohomish County Extension will offer a 12-week “Cultivating Success: Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Farm Business Planning” course to help new and existing farmers gain skills in business planning and direct marketing. In addition, the course will have a special emphasis on the financial and legal issues unique to farm-based businesses. The course runs on Tuesday evenings January 12, 2009 through March 30, 2009 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at WSU Snohomish County Extension’s Cougar Auditorium in McCollum Park, 600 128th St SE, Everett, WA.

This in-depth business planning course covers evaluating resources, planning and research, legal and management issues, marketing strategies, budgets and profit/loss statements along with how to cultivate financial resources. During the course, participants will develop a business plan they can literally take to the bank to finance a new enterprise or expand an existing farm-based business.

Course facilitator is Stanwood Angus beef rancher Holly Thompson, a WSU graduate in animal science and agriculture economics. Thompson recently assisted with WSU Skagit County Extension’s “Sustainable Small Farming and Ranching” course and has worked for Northwest Farm Credit Services as a loan officer.

The course features a full line-up of local guest speakers including bankers, business professionals, and successful farm owners. In addition, there will be two Saturday field trips to learn how other thriving farms are turning business plans into profitable reality.

Class size is limited to 20 farms and pre-registration is required. Cost for the twelve-week course is $250; register now to hold your spot. To register, contact Karie Christensen at (425) 357-6039, email, or download the form at and mail with your check.

For more information on the course, contact Andrew Corbin, (425) 357-6012, For more information on the Cultivating Success series, visit

Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local Extension office or to the WSU Center for Human Rights. Persons with a disability requiring special accommodation can request accommodation 21 days before training at (425) 338-2400. If accommodation is not requested in advance, we cannot guarantee availability on-site.

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