LOGAN, UT — Farmers and ranchers can refine and enhance their business development, management and marketing skills at the Utah Building Farmers Program Saturday class series April 14, 21 and 28. Co-sponsored by Utah State University Extension and the USDA Risk Management Agency, classes are designed to help both newer and experienced farmers learn the tools to succeed in direct market outlets. The class series is held at Thanksgiving Point, 3003 N. Thanksgiving Way, Lehi, Utah. According to Kynda Curtis, Utah State University Extension agricultural marketing specialist, the series is designed for newer farmers and ranchers needing help with direct marketing, experienced farmers and ranchers looking to retool, refine and enhance their current business, and next generation farmers and ranchers returning to the family farm and seeking new or alternative enterprises to enhance existing production. “Consumer demand for local foods has increased dramatically in the last couple of years, providing an excellent opportunity for local agricultural producers,” Curtis said. The Utah Building Farmers Program aims to help farmers by focusing on building and reinforcing capacity through interaction with Extension, producer peers and community resources. The program also aims to build a strong community network among producers involved in direct marketing and their suppliers and customers. “The program thrives on participation from producers of all levels of experience,” said Curtis. “Farmers and ranchers will develop new connections in their local areas for inputs, specialized production, extending the growing season, marketing outlets and credit and loan programs.” As part of the program, participants complete a business plan that includes feedback from peers and local experts. Participants will also have the opportunity for mentorships with experienced farmers, networking and other chances to gain direct market sales experience.
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