Connected by Louisiana Central, the FTP is a 12-month business development program for farmers. Suitable for new and beginning farmers with 1 - 10 years of experience growing and selling fruits, vegetables, niche crops, and value-added products made from products they grow. Farmers looking to develop wholesale production and sales are strongly encouraged to apply. Please complete and submit this application to be considered for the 2023 program. Applications will be accepted through February 28th, 2023.
Priority is given to applicants that live/farm in the Louisiana Central Region (Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, Rapides, Natchitoches, Vernon, Winn Parishes).
Space is extremely limited. Please apply today. If you are accepted into the FTP there is an average time commitment of four (4) hours per week for the months of March - August classroom and field based workshops. You are required to also attend Field-days in June - September for hands-on experiential learning. The remaining months of the program are for one on one technical assistance, custom business coaching, and on-farm implementation. Some of this time is self-directed learning on your own, and some is structured workshops.
All required materials and workshops will be provided at no cost to participants. Failure to attend any required portion of the program will result in removal from the program.
Applications will be accepted online from February 6 - 28, 2023.
You will be notified of your status: accepted, waitlisted, or declined within a week of the application deadline.
You will be asked to affirm your acceptance within 1-2 days of the notification if you are offered a spot in the program.
Not replying will be taken as declining and your spot will be offered to the next candidate.
The first workshop is on March 9th, 2023 (See Program Dates)
The Farmer Training Program is a 12-month program and consists of the following workshops, field days, and on-farm implementation:In-person Workshops: March - August 2023
MARCH 9: Intro - Bahia Nightengale
MARCH 23: Intro to Seed Saving - Lilli Voorhies
APRIL 6: Scaling up for Production Agriculture - Michael O’Gorman
APRIL 20: Selling to Scale the Buyer & Market Manager Perspective - Nicole Johnson & Nancy Williams
MAY 4: Basic Farm Accounting - Gary Perkins
Workshops are in-person 6:00pm - 8:00pm on Thursday Evenings 2 times a month.
Required Field Days: on-farm at Jubilee Justice
June 8th: Integrated Pest & Weed Management
June 22nd: Seed Starting and Transplanting
July 13th: Soil & Water
July 27th: Time Management (Know Your Cost To Grow)
Field days will be hosted at nearby farms for hands-on learning from past graduates and diverse farmers.
On-Farm Implementation includes technical assistance, business coaching, and services related to implementing your farm plan and achieving your sales goals.
On-Farm Implementation: one on one technical assistance and custom business coaching: June - December 2023
Successful applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the 2023 Farmer Training Program:
1-10 years experience farming and/or market gardening
Be available to attend all required workshops and field days
Transportation to and from in-person workshops and field days. Mileage reimbursement will be provided.
A computer (a cell phone is NOT an allowable substitution).
A gmail account.
Internet access capable of live video/audio streaming for Zoom based workshops and open office hours.
*If eligibility requirements create barriers to your participation, please consider applying and use the space provided on the application to explain the situation so that we may assess our ability to work with you to overcome the barrier if possible
In order to build a more sustainable and resilient food system in central Louisiana and the entire state, region, and nation, we need more farmers growing diverse, climate and culturally appropriate fruits and vegetables. This business development program is designed to help new and beginning farmers (1-10 years experience) learn better business development, and management skills as well as explore farm sciences that support commercial production systems.
Participants will gain knowledge to develop and implement a farm plan that achieves their income and sustainability goals.
Participants will connect with other farmers, technical assistance providers, researchers, and business coaches to form a network across the state.
Participants will become more confident in business and in farming.
There is no cost to participate in the FTP, however, admission is competitive and participants are required to attend each workshop and to complete all assigned work in order to graduate and receive the certificate of program completion.
We expect participants to invest available resources into their business as needed in order to thrive.
If there are potential barriers to your participation that we may be able to address with you (lack of internet, lack of computer, verbal/written communication needs, other) there is room on the application to explain the situation. We encourage everyone with an interest to apply and we will make the program accessible to all participants to the extent it is feasible.