BF 102: Exploring Markets and Profits

Testing the Feasibility of Your Farming Ideas

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Testing the Feasibility of Your Farming Ideas

Have an idea for a farm enterprise but not sure if it’s feasible? This course will help you explore the potential markets and profitability of your ideas, picking up where BF 101: Starting at Square One left off. (You do NOT have to take BF 101 before taking BF 102).

Target Audience

Beginner – Aspiring farmers who are actively planning farm start-up. Beginning farmers in their first few years who are looking for some help exploring marketing, development of budgets, and tools to help achieve profitability. This is an intro-level course that is designed to be taken after BF 101. You do not have to take BF 101 before taking BF 102, however, you will likely get more out of BF 102 if you go into it with some existing knowledge of the concepts and terminology commonly used in business planning.

Course Objectives

This course will help you:

  • Begin developing a business plan
  • Explore parts of a marketing plan
  • Explore market channels and concepts for selling your product
  • Begin to develop enterprise budgets and understand the potential for profitability with selected agricultural products


The bulk of the course happens on your own time, with discussions, readings, and assignments in Teachable, our virtual classroom. To add to the experience, webinars will be woven into the online interface of the course to allow you to meet on a weekly basis for 6 weeks each year to learn from presenters and ask questions in real time. If you miss one, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing.


Live instruction for 2023 has concluded. While we encourage live attendance so you have the opportunity to engage with the presenters and ask questions, all webinars are recorded and posted in your online classroom for students to watch anytime. Once you have enrolled in this course, you will retain access to all materials indefinitely, and can return to participate in the live webinars in future offerings of the course if you wish. Our next live session will be offered in Winter 2024. Please join us!

Your Instructor

Beth Claypoole and Joan Petzen
Beth Claypoole and Joan Petzen

Beth Claypoole is recently retired from being the Executive Director and Agriculture Issues Leader for Cornell Cooperative Extension Wayne County. She has been an extension specialist for more than 20 years, with expertise in dairy management and business management. Beth has taught business planning to more than 1000 people across the United States and in Poland. She has worked with the New England Small Farm Institute as a trainer and facilitator for “Exploring the Small Farm Dream”. She has an MS in Animal Science Nutrition and an MBA, with emphasis in Marketing. Her current focus is on new farm start-ups and agriculture economic development.

Joan Sinclair Petzen's Cooperative Extension career spans thirty-five years. Her roots go back to a Genesee Valley dairy farm in York, NY. Today, she owns Sinclair Farm and manages the farm rental contracts. She has taught classes on a wide range of topics for beginning farmers, including business planning, starting a livestock farm, understanding regulations impacting farm businesses and budgeting. Mrs. Petzen holds a St. Bonaventure University MBA focused on finance and accounting and a BS in Agricultural Economics and Animal Science from Cornell University. She graduated from LEAD-NY, Leadership Wyoming and the Cornell Dairy Executive Program. Her passion - helping next generation farmers gain management skills needed to lead businesses into the future.

Course Curriculum

Courses Included with Purchase

Plan Your Farm
free tutorials to get started planning a small farm business
Erica Frenay

Original Price: $0

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course officially starts on the date given above, when the instructors get involved and begin hosting live weekly webinars. If you are registering after the webinars have concluded for the year, you will have immediate access to all the course materials, and will be able to participate in the next year's webinars if you choose to.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 7 days and we will give you a full refund.

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