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October 14, 2012

Farm briefs: Oct. 14, 2012


Empowering Beginning Women Farmers in the Northeast through Whole Farm Planning is provided in association with Holistic Management International (HMI). Across the Northeast, more than 200 women have graduated from the training giving them new tools, information and perspectives on how to succeed in farming.

Funding for this program was recently awarded by the U.S.D.A. National Instiute of Food and Agriculture through HMI.

“This grant will allow us to offer an unlimited number of scholarships for the program,” said New York State Coordinator Lauren Lines. “We are so pleased to be able to offer this valuable program to all women regardless of ability to pay. In order to allow applicants to take advantage of this scholarship opportunity, we are extending the deadline to apply to Friday, Oct. 26.”

This program instructs participants on using a holistic approach to decision making on their farms. Participants from all across the state will meet for 10 sessions on topics such as goal setting; financial, business and marketing plans; land and infrastructure planning; soil fertility; and planned grazing. The final three sessions are located on farms to allow for hands-on learning.

According to participant Linda Haley Ross of Madison County, “The NE Beginning Women Farmer program allowed me to learn hands-on, in-classroom, and through peer discussion the real challenges I would be facing as a farmer today, while providing me the tools to address them. In addition, I leave with a lifelong support system and perpetually growing network of resources to guarantee my success.”

Participants are provided with a mentor and are connected with a network of other beginning women farmers throughout the Northeast for additional support. Participants from previous classes continue to meet after graduation to stay connected, enjoy the camaraderie created by the training and expand their learning.

Applications are available at or by contacting Lauren Lines, New York State coordinator, at The sessions will begin in December. A central location will be selected based upon the location of the majority of accepted applicants.

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