Free Farmer Training and Technical Assistance for Immigrant and Refugee Farmers
Highline College and its project partners, International Rescue Committee and Northwest Agriculture Business Center, are now offering free farmer training and technical assistance to address barriers faced by immigrant and refugee farmers in starting and growing farm businesses. Highline College began the project last month starting with their first training workshop held at King County's Horseneck Farm in Kent on 10/22. Workshops are held every two weeks, and video recordings will be made available online for those that can't attend in person. Interpretation services can also be made available with advanced notice. Farmers who complete each 6-month workshop series will gain access to additional free services, including one-on-one farm business planning assistance; access to incubator farm space; in-field technical assistance; one-on-one facilitation through the land, markets, and capital access processes; matchmaking with commercial farmer mentors; and referrals to additional resources and organizations. Some restrictions may apply.
Free to participate
Contact Bobby Butler (425-445-4556), Sustainable Agriculture Program Manager, for more informatiom.
Virtual Farm Business Expansion Training
Northwest Agriculture Business Center and Sustainable Connections Food & Farming Program are offering a five-month agricultural intensive running from November 2021 to March 2022. The cohort-based program will meet 2-3 times a month and receive a mix of presentations from experts, farmer peer-to-peer support, and one-on-one business review and development. Topics covered include business structure and modeling, labor law, accounting, brand development and best practices, bookkeeping and cash flow, tax planning, environmental regulations, insurance, human resources, and team management.
This agricultural intensive is designed for farmers who:
- have been in operation at least three seasons and/or are looking to grow their sales beyond direct to consumer farmers markets and CSAs
- have been selling wholesale at least one year
- operate in Island, King, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Whatcom, Lewis, Thurston, Grays Harbor, Pacific, Mason, or Pierce counties.
- can commit to about 40 hours of time between October 2021- March 2022
- have a current gross income of $150,000 or higher annually
- access existing market channels beyond farmers market and CSA
- understand and can articulate the basics of their marketing model
Free to participate
Priority application deadline is October 25. Final application deadline is November 5, or until the cohort reaches 15 farmers.
Contact with questions
Cultivating Success™: Whole Farm Planning
Cultivating Success™: Whole Farm Planning will walk you through a step-by-step process, to help you prepare a well thought out plan for your land, life, and farm business. Learn how to use a whole system lens to create a living plan for your small farm future. Classes will meet weekly through Zoom, in an online classroom environment and you will be able to connect with a statewide community of other aspiring farm planners. Leave with tools for decision making and a road map to plan for your farming endeavors. Includes many opportunities for networking and community building in smaller breakout groups too! Come build a solid plan for a farm or food business that suites you.
We'll cover a broad range of topics and decision-making tools for you to create a successful small farm enterprise! Whether you are just exploring the opportunities available or already have an existing operation, you'll learn what it takes to create, sustain, and grow a viable small farm or food business.
$200 for a 12 week course offered fully online through Zoom.
Course runs from September 21st through December 7th, 2021.
Class meets weekly on Tuesdays from 6:00pm to 8:30pm.
Scholarships are available for Military Veterans and anyone for whom the course fee is a barrier.
¡Curso traducido al Español! This course will be offered with Spanish language interpretation and facilitation.
September 21st through December 7th, weekly on Tuesdays from 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Online (through Zoom, registration required)