For eleven years, Ag Choice has been running AgBiz Masters, a program designed to educate and support farmers, age 35 or younger with less than 10 years of farming experience. Participants in the program come from various types of farms and agriculture industry businesses. Over the past decade, Ag Biz Masters has educated more than 1,300 farmers and partnered with 25 different organizations.
Member Mark Mosemann of Misty Mountain Dairy in Warfordsburg, Pennsylvania enrolled in the program in 2009 and found it worthwhile. “It’s especially valuable if you have not had any business classes in school,” he said. Each module teaches skills around farm management, fiscal understanding and business practices. The end-result is the creation of a viable business plan for your farm.
“The best thing about this program is that you’re forced to apply your farm’s financial numbers into the class assignments that creates a product tailored to your farm operation.” Mark also noted that the Ag Biz Masters offers strong networking opportunities for participants. Doing most of the program online allows you to do the work on your time, with access to the program resources and the teachers’ expertise and connections.
The coursework is grouped in five online modules and three in-person, regional sessions during each year. It takes two years to complete, as an on-demand online or text series. This season’s program runs from November 2019 through March 2020, with the in-person sessions take place in January and March with a kickoff meeting in November. Classes are designed to help participants understand lender terms and documents, learn record keeping, balance sheets, and other financial management tools as well as strategies to transition and grow the farm.
The Ag Biz Masters registration fee is $225; registration deadline is Oct. 31, 2019, with a $25 coupon available through Ag Choice or Maryland & Virginia. Interested individuals may register online at http://www.agbizmasters.com. Admission has flexibility so people are encouraged to apply, and the registration may include up to two students.
For additional program information, please contact Raechel Sattazahn, Knowledge Center Director, at 717-796-9372 ext. 6016 or rsattazahn@AgChoice.com.