Ruth Correll: Thinking about becoming a farmer?

Ruth Correll • Updated Dec 28, 2016 at 10:00 PM

Want to be a farmer, but don’t know how to get started in the farming business. University of Tennessee Extension has scheduled a 2017 workshop that might show you first steps. 

Beginning Jan. 25, four workshops are scheduled at locations across the state. Each event is independent, and the same materials will be presented. 

“A century ago, Americans absorbed their ‘farming education’ mostly first-hand through chores and kitchen table discussions,” said Rob Holland, director of the UT Center for Profitable Agriculture. “Today, that is not the case, and many would-be farmers have no idea how to get started in the business.”

A team of Extension agents and specialists have developed an educational workshop for those who have been dreaming of managing their own green acres. Mitchell Mote, agriculture agent in Rutherford County, has been leading the planning and serves as one of the instructors. Co-sponsored by Farm Credit Mid-America, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, USDA Rural Development and UT Extension -Tennessee State University Extension, the workshop “Considerations for Beginning Farmers” will be offered to anyone interested in becoming a farm owner-operator.

Based on the feedback from participants at previous events, Mote thinks the effort is right on track. “The information we present is timely and is sought after by people who are a few generations removed from the family farm, but who are interested in returning to their roots, so to speak,” he said.

The full-day workshop is designed for those with little or no farming background. Program topics include the language of agriculture; a self-assessment of goals, desires and commitment; basic crop and livestock needs; evaluating land suitability; equipment and tools; potential risks; and more.

Registration to attend is $25 per person, which includes the program and lunch. For more information, contact Mitchell Mote in the Rutherford County Extension Office at 615-898-7710. Registration forms can be obtained by contacting the Wilson County Extension Office.

The workshop is scheduled for two dates in 2017 for Middle Tennessee on Jan. 25 at the UT-TSU Extension Office in Montgomery County in Clarksville, registration deadline Jan. 13, and March 28 at the White County Ag Complex, registration deadline March 20.

For more information, contact the UT-TSU Extension Office in Wilson County at 615-444-9584. You can also find us on Facebook or visit extension.tennessee.edu/wilson.

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. ag.tennessee.edu. Ruth Correll, UT Extension-TSU Cooperative Extension agent in Wilson County, may be reached at 615-444-9584 or [email protected]


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