College-wide Navigational Links | Go to Local Content
Main Content |

Sustainable Agriculture

Journeyman Farmer Certificate Program

Journeyman CollageAcross the United States and in Georgia, the number of small and medium–sized farms is declining and the average age of farmers is on the rise. Although we need new farmers, the barriers would-be farmers face when trying to grow new agricultural businesses from the ground up can be formidable. UGA Extension and partners has developed a new Journeyman Farmer Certificate Program to provide a comprehensive training program for beginning farmers. This project is funded by USDA NIFA Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Program and includes up to three training steps. Some counties may offer one, two, or three of the steps below, be sure to check in with the county agent running the program to learn about what they are offering.

  1. Small Farm Business Planning,
  2. Small Fruit & Vegetable Production or Small Ruminants Production,
  3. Hands-on Production Training.

If you have general questions about the program please contact:
Journeyman Farmer Program Assistant

Lindsay Davies
(706) 542-1401
Lndavies@uga.edu

Program Locations 2017-2018

Programs are being run in these locations during 2017 -2018.

Forsyth County

Small Farm Business Training: January 20 and 27, 2018. 10am-3pm each day

Forsyth Conference Center at Lanier Technical College

3410 Ronald Regan Boulevard, Cumming GA 30041

Cost: $50

Contact: Heather Kolich at (770) 887-2418 or hnkolich@uga.edu

Sign up here.

Forsyth County

Small Fruit and Vegetable Training: February 15, 22, March 1, 8, 15, 22, 2018. 6:30-9pm each day. February 24 for farm tour from 10am-1pm

Lanier Technical College Forsyth Campus

Cost: $75

Contact: Heather Kolich at (770) 887-2418 or hnkolich@uga.edu

Sign up here.

Please note that the Hands-On opportunities will be limited or not offered for programs starting in 2018. The Journeyman Farmer Certificate Program has been supported by a USDA Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Grant. Starting in 2018, some counties may not offer the Hands-On program, or if they do, stipends may or may not be available. Check in with the county agent to see what portions of the program they will be offering.

Who Should Attend?

Who is a beginning farmer?  USDA defines a beginning farmer as anyone who has been farming less than ten years continuously.  The Journeyman Farmer Certificate Program is focused on those interested in starting a farm business or those who have recently begun farming and want to improve their operation.

What Kind of Training Does the Program Provide?

Interested farmers will first attend one of two different Small Farm Business Planning trainings: AgAware program run by AgCredit, or Small Farm Business Planning Training.  The business training offered in your area is selected by the extension team hosting the training in your area.

Ag Aware is a one-day workshop aimed at young, beginning, small and minority farmers.  The workshop covers farm business topics including: lessons learned from successful small farms, balance sheets, income statements, family finance and budgeting, applying for financing, risk management, marketing and technology, as well as preparing a business plan.  Successful participants will have the foundation to prepare their own farm business plan.  They also receive a FSA borrower certificate and a certificate of completion. Participants in Ag Aware are eligible to enroll in either the Small Fruit & Vegetable Production or Small Ruminants Production trainings. For a detailed training description click here.

Small Farm Business Planning is four 2-hour sessions developed in partnership with the UGA Small Business Development Center, the Georgia Department of Agriculture, and Georgia Organics.  Topics include lessons learned from successful small farms, market feasibility, balance sheets, income statements, risk management, marketing and technology, as well as preparing a business plan.  Successful participants will have the foundation to prepare their own farm business plan. For a detailed training description click here.

Small Fruit & Vegetable Production is a seven week training developed in partnership with Georgia Organics and the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.  Topics include: Soil health and fertility, soil amendments and fertilizers, cover crops, crop rotations, pest management, crop selection, crop propagation, equipment, post-harvest handling, food safety, and marketing. For a detailed training description click here.

Small Ruminant Production is a six week training developed by Fort Valley State University in partnership with UGA Extension. Topics include: goat and sheep breeds and selection, nutrition and body scoring, pasture management, predator control, health and diseases, reproduction and kidding/lambing, integrated parasite management, as well as meats and marketing. The training includes a session with live animals to practice body condition scoring, hoof trimming and checking for internal parasites. For a detailed training description click here.

Some counties may be offering a Hands-On Production training. This includes internships and/or mentorships with experienced farmers. Check in with the county agent running your program to see if they are offering this portion of the program and what their program will include.

 

                         

This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture under award number 2015-70017-22861. It is a partnership between UGA, Georgia Organics, Fort Valley State University, UGA Small Business Development Center, AgSouth, Georgia Department of Agriculture, and the Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association.

top