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Think you’d like farming? Learn basic knowledge and skills in hands-on lab

The Northern Piedmont Beginning Farmer Program (NPBFP) is a seven-month initiative to help aspiring farmers make an informed decision to act on, postpone, or drop their ideas for a farm operation. Participants will develop a farm business plan in coordination with local farmers and agriculture service representatives. They will also be required to participate in 36 hours of labs over the course of nine weeks at the Fauquier Education Farm.

The Beginning Farming Program uses curriculum developed by VA Tech and the Cooperative Extension Service.  Agriculture experts from across Virginia will present or guide instruction using online and in-person curriculum. Labs will be held on Saturdays throughout the growing season.  These labs will involve physical labor being performed outside from March through September.

Upon graduation, participants will possess the basic knowledge and skills to start a farm operation if they choose to.  All participants must commit to attendance throughout this seven-month program and all participants must have online access. n addition, participants will be asked to contribute to the NPBFP’s formal course evaluation.

Selection for the NPBFP is competitive and determined by a selection committee.  Participants must provide the selection committee with a 300-400 word, typed essay that explains how their participation will advance 1) their agriculture goals, 2) the NPBFP 2012 class, and ) the Northern Piedmont’s agriculture community. 

Email application and essay to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) before March 8, 2012.

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