Farming 101 at N.C. Farm School

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NC Farm School

Courtesy of NC Farm School

Many times, farming runs in the family. But for those who have no previous experience or want to begin farming as a second career, it can be difficult to know where to start.

As a solution to help those who wanted to farm later in life, N.C. State University’s Cooperative Extension Service launched the N.C. Farm School. The idea originated from the Piedmont Farm School, a similar program born in Davidson County. NCSU’s Farm School takes that idea and expands it statewide. The program involves eight seminars over seven months taught by experienced farmers, extension agents and more who give students the tools to begin their farm business. Participants must have a business plan and also already have land. The seminars are equivalent to undergraduate college classes, requiring participants to complete homework assignments and actively participate in class. The education also includes several field trips throughout the course to working farms so they can learn firsthand about sustainable methods and different types of production. Two to four farm schools are held per year in different areas of the state, and graduates leave with the knowledge and expertise to succeed in beginning their farming careers. Three farm schools are currently slated for 2017, with locations in Franklin, Gaston and Henderson counties. Students this year can expect more opportunities to spend time with experienced farmers, as well as a larger focus on business skills and budgeting.

Learn more about N.C. Farm School at ncfarmschool.ces.ncsu.edu.

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