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Danelle Cutting: Apply now for 2016 farm school

Beekeeping

Cooperative Extension Bevin Fink from Third Creek Cottage Gardens speaks to NC Farm School participants on beehives.

Cooperative Extension Bevin Fink from Third Creek Cottage Gardens speaks to NC Farm School participants on beehives.

What are you waiting for? You have the drive, creativity and will power to start a farm, so what is holding you back?

If you are in this situation, the 2016 Southern Piedmont NC Farm School is for you. We are now accepting applicants to the 2016 Farm School. We can only accept a limited number of registrants, and class is filling up fast. Last year, we had so many applicants that we had a waiting list, so it is imperative to fill out an application as soon as possible.

The Southern Piedmont NC Farm School started more than five years ago to teach new and transitioning farmers how to become better farmers, providing the business skills to maintain a profitable farm.

Students learn the business skills to run a farm but also get knowledge from growers, producers and specialists. They even get to visit farms. Rowan, Cabarrus, Davie, Davidson, Forsyth, Guilford and Mecklenburg counties have helped create the perfect farm tour model for the 2016 students.

The course is seven months, with eight nightly business meetings and seven field trips. The nightly classes will start in February.

There are two informational sessions that all applicants are encouraged to attend. The first meeting will be on Dec. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Rowan County Cooperative Extension, 2727 Old Concord Road, and the last session will be on Jan. 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cabarrus County office, 715 Cabarrus Ave., West, Concord.

Currently, the NC Farm School program has graduated more than 300 students. Many state that the NC Farm School program helped them start their own farms.

Kelly Connor, a graduate of NC Farm School in the Southern Piedmont said, “It would have taken my brothers and I at least 20 years to get the information and education we have received in the short time attending the Southern Piedmont NC Farm School. This program is worth more than double the price.”

Mike and Jenny Tate from Forsyth County, 2014 NC Farm School graduates who own Rebecca Knoll Farms, told the press that “After 30 years in business, I had a voice telling me to do something in agriculture, and this school helped put me in the right direction.”

I have written about the benefits of the NC Farm School frequently because the agents that I work with are all passionate about helping our growers succeed. This program is one of the best I have worked with and is also one of the reasons I enjoy my job. I hope to see you at our 2016 Southern Piedmont NC Farm School graduation.

If would like more information on the Southern Piedmont NC Farm School, visit our website at: http://www.ncfarmschool.com, or call your local agent, Danelle Cutting, at 704-216-8970.

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