Funding Your Farm Plans
Do you have good ideas for a farm business you'd like to start, or for expanding or diversifying your existing farm business? Do you have access to all the funding you'll need to bring your ideas to fruition? If not, this course is for you. It can be very difficult to navigate the process of getting grants or loans, especially if you did not come to farming with a background in finance. If you do have a background in finance, that's a great advantage, but there are many opportunities available to food- and farm-related businesses that don't exist in other sectors.
This course will start by emphasizing the importance of a business plan to this process, including cash flow projections. Once we have created a baseline understanding of what work needs to be done before seeking funding, we will have guest speakers talk about funding from a bank’s perspective, from Farm Credit East, from USDA's various grant programs, and from economic development agencies. We will also highlight funding streams that are particular to different groups such as minority- and women-owned businesses or veterans.
All levels - This course is for anyone who is seeking funding for a farm enterprise. Participants will get the most out of the course if they already have familiarity with basic business and financial concepts and terms, but the instructor will also explain these as the course progresses.
By the end of this course, all active participants will have a
better understanding of how they can prepare their business for
funding, find funding that is out there and available, and then put in
an application that has the potential to be approved.
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 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 the 2021-2022 season will begin on Mon. Jan 10, 2022 from 6:30-8pm Eastern time, and continue for 6 weeks, with the final webinar on Mon. Feb 14. While we encourage live attendance so you have the opportunity to engage with the presenters and ask questions, all webinars we will be posted in our 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 as many times as you wish.
Myron Thurston is the Food Supply Chain Marketing Specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County and is a Senior Resource Educator in the Cornell System. His most recent position was in Agriculture Economic Development at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County and he worked with farmers there to help them prepare for expansion, diversification, and financial protection for their agribusinesses. He also is a grant reviewer for the USDA. Myron has a significant background in grant research and grant writing as he was in nonprofit fundraising and development for over a decade before coming to Cornell. He also served as the head of marketing for two nonprofits in Central New York. Myron grew up on a 100-year-old family dairy farm that milked around 350 cows and farmed on 2,000 acres in Oneida County, NY. He currently resides in Sherrill, NY with his wife, two children, a dog that loves to run with him, and a cat that is not very friendly.