Jan. 8: ‘Cultivating Success’ course growing small farms

By Kate Ryan, WSU Extension

small farm

EVERETT, Wash. – A 12-week course, “Cultivating Success: Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Farm Business Planning,” begins Jan. 8 and will be offered 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Mondays, in Stanwood and Renton, via simulcasting.

The course is designed to help new and current farmers gain skills in business planning and direct marketing.

The course features a full line-up of local guest speakers including bankers, business professionals and successful farm owners, with a special emphasis on the financial and legal issues unique to farm-based businesses. During the course, participants are guided in developing a business plan they can use to help finance and guide a new enterprise or expand an existing farm-based business.

The course facilitator is Holly Small, a local agriculture teacher and small farmer. Small has been leading, developing and expanding the Cultivating Success series since 2009 to excellent reviews. During that time, she’s become a go-to authority for local farms and farmers looking to expand opportunities and production while developing a long-term sustainable operation. Small is a WSU graduate in animal science and agriculture economics with an MS in agriculture education. In addition, she spent several years working for Northwest Farm Credit Services as a loan officer and the Nestle Regional Training Center at Carnation Farm as their public relations and conference center manager.

Recent graduate comments on the class include: “The unique opportunity to meet fellow successful farmers and business mentors is one of a kind.” “By the end of the course I had a farm business plan that I could take to the bank.” And, “the opportunity to evaluate my enterprise and make informed decisions is invaluable, after all the best place to make mistakes is on paper.”

Class size is limited and usually fills quickly. Pre-paid registration is required. Cost for the 12-week course is $300. To register, visit CSAgEnt.eventbrite.com or download the form at snohomish.wsu.edu/ag-ent and mail with a check. For more information on the course, contact Kate Ryan, 425-357-6024, kate.ryan@wsu.edu



  • Kate Ryan, WSU Snohomish County Extension, program coordinator, 360-794-6024, kate.ryan@wsu.edu