Training Program

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*included parishes
Northern Louisiana Region to include: Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Claiborne, De Soto, East Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Red River, Richland, Sabine, Tensas, Union, Webster, and West Carroll Parishes


*included parishes
Central Louisiana Region to include: Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, Rapides, Natchitoches, Vernon, and Winn Parishes
*A limited number of seats in the Alexandria Cohort will be offered to applicants from parishes not included in either cohort.


Connected by Louisiana Central and Shreveport Green; and supported by LSSAC and USDA, 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, & value-added products made from products they grow. Farmers looking to develop wholesale production & sales are strongly encouraged to apply. Applications will be accepted through March 22, 2024.

There are 2 cohorts accepting applications in 2024 with seperate priority areas. 

Cohort 1 is in Alexandria, LA with priority given to applicants that live/farm in the Central Louisiana region of: Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, Rapides, Natchitoches, Vernon, Winn Parishes. However, a limited number of seats in the Alexandria Cohort may be offered to applicants from parishes not included in either cohort.

Cohort 2 is in Shreveport, LA and priority will be given to applicants that live/farm in the North Louisiana region of: Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Claiborne, De Soto, East Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Red River, Richland, Sabine, Tensas, Union, Webster, and West Carroll Parishes.

Applications will be accepted from anywhere in the state but these are in-person workshops and field days that meet 2x per month on average from 6-8:30 pm for classroom workshops and during the day (morning or afternoon) for Field Days. Transportation is not provided and 100% attendance is required.

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 April - November classroom and field based workshops. Some of this time is self-directed learning on your own, and some is structured workshops.

The program also offers access to one-on-one technical assistance, custom business coaching, and on-farm implemention after graduation in November based on the unique needs of each graduate. 

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. Although this program is available at no cost to participants, there are certain expectations that the participants use the opportunites provided to invest in their business. 

Applications will be accepted online from February 26 - March 22, 2024.

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 April 4, 2024  (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 and Field Days: April - November 2024
  • On-Farm Implementation: one on one technical assistance and custom business coaching: available upon request to all program graduates. 

Required Workshops and Field Days: 
  • April 4th: Introduction to Farming and Business - Bahia Nightengale and Lauren Jones         

  • April 18th: Soil, Seeds, and Water - Mollly, Leroy Conish, and Chris Adams

  • May 2nd (Field Day): Seed Saving 
  • May 16th (Field Day): OG Production Practices 

  • June 6th: Scale for Production Agriculture - Michael O’Gorman 

  • June 20th: Pricing - Margee Green 

  • July 18th (Field Day): Food System Equity 

  • July 25th (Field Day): Seed Starting and Transplanting
  • August 1st: Marketing - BFI                                     

  • ​August 14th (Field Day): Lean Farm Audit (Shreveport Only) 
  • August 15th: Lean Production Proactices - Ben Hartman
  • August 16th (Field Day): Lean Farm Audit (Alexandria Only) 
  • September 5th (Field Day): Open Forum 
  • September 19th (Field Day): Climate Smart Business Adaptation 
  • October 3rd: Market and Crop Selection - Terreca Bates-Wells, Nicole Johnson, and Nancy Williams
  • October 17th: Thinking Like an Entrepreneur and Cash Flow Accounting - Gary Perkins 

Workshops are in-person 6:00pm - 8:30pm on Thursday Evenings 2 times a month.
*Some workshop instruction will be via Zoom and all will be simulcast from Alexandria to Shreveport.  

Field days will be hosted at nearby farms during the day, at various times for hands-on learning from past graduates and farmers. 

On-Farm Implementation includes technical assistance, business coaching, and services related to implementing your farm plan and achieving your sales goals.

Successful applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the 2024 Farmer Training Program:

  • 1-10 years experience farming and selling farm products

  • 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 gmail account.


*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 Louisiana and the entire state, the SE 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, management skills, and 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.

2023 Program Speakers
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2022 Program Speakers
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2021 Program Speakers
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Farmer Training Program is Made Possible by Funding From