Create the Farm or Ranch of your Dreams

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Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Season – Accepting Applications

Apply now for our  Beginning Farmers & Ranchers program for Women in Texas and the Northeast.

Since 2009 hundreds of women have successfully graduated from this program and gone on to build the farm or ranch of their dreams. The practical tools, information, and networks they built during the course  are serving them well as they reap the benefits of practicing Holistic Management Whole Farm/Ranch Planning.

Holistic Management is a proven sustainable farm/ranch management systems that’s been around for over 30 years. It’s practiced on over 40 million acres across six continents. It’s goal setting and decision making framework allows practitioners to make their operations more sustainable – economically, socially, and environmentally.

This is not a quick one-off workshop, but an intense supportive nine month-long program, where you’ll have a chance to practice what you learn on your land as you go through the program. You’ll be able to share your successes and challenges with other women farmers and ranchers. You’ll learn from the very best instructors – Holistic Management Certified Educators – that have been rigorously trained, as well as other experienced specialists. You’ll also learn from your peers and develop valuable relationships that will last long after the course is complete.

The format of our program includes on-farm field days, as well as in-class exercises. You’ll be matched with a mentor – an experienced woman farmer that will help guide your progress. You’ll learn:

  • Practical, common sense information on how to manage your farm/ranch like a business
  • Sustainable farming production methods – cropping as well as livestock
  • Innovative and effective marketing strategies
  • How to create and achieve your whole farm/ranch goal
  • Sustainable soil building techniques

As with all our programs, we continuously monitor the effectiveness and the impact we make.  You can see the results for yourself.

Application, Fees, & Scholarships

Our course includes 60 hours of training across ten sessions, and due to its popularity, the selection process is competitive and we encourage you to apply early. (See state deadlines below)

Cost for this program is based on a sliding scale of $150-500. Partial and full scholarships are available. If you cannot afford to pay for this program, please submit a scholarship application to your state coordinator. Scholarship funding has been provided by the USDA/NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. You must have been farming for 10 years or less to be eligible for this program and funding

Enrollment and course management is done through our state coordinators.  If you have overall questions about the program, please contact Ann Adams, HMI’s Director of Community Services.  The state coordinators (below) can answer specific questions about enrollment, locations, and schedules  for their state.

If you’ve missed the deadline for our 2013-2014 season, we can add you to our 2014-2015 interest list, just e-mail us your contact information.

2013 -2014 State Coordinators

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Connecticut – Application Deadline – October 1, 2013

Classes are: November 2 and 23, December 14, January 4 and 25, February 15, March 15, April 5 and 26, and May 17 (May 31 extra snow date). First 6 classes held at Goodwin College in East Hartford.

Deb Legge, CT NOFA

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Maine – Application Deadline – December 1, 2013

Classes are from January through May with 2 classes a month on Sundays.

Gail Chase, Women’s Agriculture Network (WAgN) ME

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Massachusetts – Application Deadline – October 1, 2013

Devon Whitney-Deal, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA 2013)

The MA Program is currently planned to run from early November 2013 thru early May 2014 in Brimfield, MA.

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New Hampshire – Application Deadline – November 15, 2013

Kate Kerman, Small & Beginning Farmers of NH

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New York – Application Deadline – September 10, 2013

Sarah Williford, Central NY RC&D,

All courses are in the Albany area. Dates are: November 9, November 23, December 14, January 4, January 18 ,February 8, March 8, March 22, April 12 , April 26.

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Texas – Application Deadline – July 15, 2013

Peggy Cole, HMI Project Manager

The sessions will held be in the South Central Texas Agricultural region, but any women willing to attend classes in the Austin/ Central Texas area are welcome to apply. Applicants will be notified of selection by August 1, 2013. There is no fee to attend the Texas course.

2013-2014 Texas Class Schedule

 September 4-5, 2013 (Wednesday – Thursday), at Red Corral Ranch, Wimberley, TX; Looking at the whole, discovering your goal, making better decisions, managing your time.

October 10-11, 2013 (Thursday-Friday) at Montesino Ranch, Wimberley, TX; Biological monitoring, soil health, Grazing Planning.

November 7 & 8, 2013 (Thursday-Friday) Center for Environmental Research, Hornsby Bend Biosolids facility, Austin, TX; Financial Planning, learning to be profitable, analyzing enterprises.

January 9-10, 2014 (Thursday – Friday) Kerr Wildlife Management Area. Land planning, leadership and communication.

February 20-21, 2014 (Thursday – Friday) at Selah Bamberger Ranch, Johnson City, TX; Marketing what you produce, business planning.

Mentoring continues through August 2014.

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Vermont – Application Deadline – November 15, 2013

Jessie Schmidt, Vermont State Coordinator

From the pool of applications, 15 participants will be selected to participate in the 10 session course.  The sessions will be held in Lamoille County.

2014 Class Schedule
Tuesdays, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm
Jan. 7, Jan. 21, Feb. 4, Feb. 18, March 11, March 25, April 8, April 22, May 6, May 20 (snow date March 18)

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Meet a few of our graduates and see what they have to say…

New HampshireKate Kerman, Phoenix Farm, Marlborough, NHDenise Renk, Elior Acres, Bradford, NHChristine Doherty-Pressmen, Nomadic Farms, Wilton, NHMassachusettsMaribeth Richie, Sangha Farm, Plainsfield, MAHeather Diaz, Northampton Brewery Farm, Northampton, MASusan Peters, Southshore CSA, Boston, MAChanya Sae-Eaw, Farmacy Garden, Belchertown, MA & Young Farmers Coalition article

Maine

Tammy Wayboer, Shadow Hill Farm, New Glouster, ME

Ellen Johnson, Lamb Cove Farm, Robbinston, ME

Connecticut

Elysa Bryant, Stone Well Homestead, Guilford, CT & ACRES USA article

Emily Curtis-Murphy, Fair Food Farm, East Calais, CT

Heather Driscoll, Green Valley Farm, Eastford, CT

Kate Bogli, Maple View Farm, CT,

Vermont

Jessie Schmidt, First Branch Farm, Chelsea, VT

Lindsay Arbuckle, Alchemy Gardens, West Rutland, VT

Lisa McCrory, Chandra Blackmer, Michelle Danforth, VT & NY

Maeve Mangine, Tangleroots Farm, Shrewbury, VT

New York

Tricia Park, Creekside Meadow Farm, Cazenovia, NY & ACRES USA article

Valerie Dawnstar, Thorndon Farm, Sterling, NY

Texas

Laurie Bostic & Kim Martin, Barking Cat Farm, Heath, TX