Farmer and rancher entrepreneurship program planned |

Farmer and rancher entrepreneurship program planned

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. – Agricultural producers looking for new income opportunities should mark their calendars for a value-added workshop on June 12, 2009, at the North Platte Community College South Campus, said Randy Saner, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Educator for Lincoln and McPherson counties.

The “Value Added Marketing and Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Production” program, geared to ag educators and producers as well as farmer’s market managers, will begin with registration at 9:30 a.m., Saner said. The $10 pre-registration fee covers lunch as well as all course sessions. The charge will be $15 at the door.

Morning sessions will start with an introduction at 9:45, followed by presentations including:

– “Low Cost Heifer Development” – Rick Funston, UNL Extension Reproductive Physiologist

– “100 Cow/100 Acre Program” – Weldon Sleight, Dean, Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture

– U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies will present the following four loan programs available to ag producers.

1. “Value Added Agriculture” – Bruce Solko, County Executive Director, Farm Service Agency

2. “Beginning Farmers” – Farm Service Agency

3. “Conservation Practices” – Mary Reece, District Conservationist, Natural Resource Conservation Service

4. “Low Income Farmers” – Farm Service Agency

The 12:30 luncheon speaker, Connie Hancock, Extension Educator, will talk about “Entrepreneurship in Nebraska.”

Afternoon topics include the following:

– “What Community Colleges Can Offer” – Cinch Munson, Associate Vice President, Center for Enterprise, Mid-Plains Community College

– “Agri-Tourism Development” – Tom Tabor, Ecotourism Development Consultant, Nebraska Department of Economic Development

– Farmer Panel including – “Direct Marketing of Vegetables” – Cathy Grauerholz; “Indian Corn for Farmers Market” – Don and Barb Batie; “Feather River Vineyard” – Mark Peiper; “Purty Pumpkins” – Brian Armstrong; and “Heifer Development and More” – Rosemary Anderson

By assessing markets and adding products, services or value to their current mix, agricultural entrepreneurs can add value to the income line on their balance sheets. Saner encourages interested innovators to save the day to gain ideas, training or to just get questions answered.

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