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Building a sustainable business

A course starting in January 2010 will provide new and experienced farmers with the tools to develop agricultural business plans to start or grow their businesses.

"Building a Sustainable Business" will be offered in three locations: Rutland, White River Junction and South Burlington. The course is designed for people who are thinking about a new agricultural venture, or farmers who want to diversify their current operation. Participants will assess their resources, develop marketing strategies, work with financial statements, learn how and where to get funding for their businesses, and network with other farmers.

Instructors for the course include University of Vermont Extension specialists Dennis Kauppila and Glenn Rogers, and Vermont Small Business Development Center, Area Business Advisor Steve Paddock. The course will also feature farmers, lenders and other agricultural professionals who will share their experiences with participants.

"Building a Sustainable Business" will be offered from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for 6 weeks as follows:

Rutland on Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 5, 2010

White River Junction on Wednesdays beginning Jan. 6, 2010.

Chittenden County on Thursdays beginning Jan. 7, 2010.

Pre-registration is required as space is limited. The fee is $149 per person ($50 for a second person from the same farm) and includes all materials.

A check or money order reserves your space at the course. To register, send your check, made payable to 'UVM Extension', Mary Straight, UVM Extension, 397 Railroad Street, Suite 3, St Johnsbury 05819-1740.

Please contact Mary Straight for registration information, at mary.straight@uvm.edu or by phone at 751-8307. If you require accommodations to participate in this program, please let Mary Straight know by Dec. 15 so we may assist you.

Scholarship assistance is available from the Vermont Small Business Development Center to participants who meet certain income guidelines. For scholarship information, please contact Heather Gonyaw at or by phone at 728-9101.

The course is sponsored by the UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture, UVM Extension, USDA Risk Management Agency, Vermont Small Business Development Center.

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