Farmer
Training Program

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2022 Farmer Training Program

A business development program for farm and ranch businesses in central Louisiana.

Apply today for access to resources, skill-building, and peer to peer networking opportunities.

2022 Program Speakers

Applications will be accepted from November 15 - December 15 for the 2022 program.

Connected by Louisiana Central, the FTP is a 12-month business development program for farmers.  Suitable for new and beginning farmers with 0 - 10 years of experience growing and selling fruits, vegetables, niche crops, value-added products made from products they grow, and grass-based livestock.  Farmers looking to develop wholesale production and sales are strongly encouraged to apply.  Please complete and submit this application to be considered for the 2022 program. Applications will be accepted through December 15th, 2021.

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 January - April for the (virtual) classroom-based workshops.  You are required to also attend a minimum of one Field Day during May, June, or July 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.

Timeline

Applications will be accepted online November 15 - December 15, 2021.

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 January 19, 2022.  (See Program Dates)

Program Dates

The Farmer Training Program is a 12-month program and consists of the following workshops, field days, and on-farm implementation:

  • Online Workshops:  January 19th  - April 28th,  2022
  • Field Days: May - July 2022
  • On-Farm Implementation: one on one technical assistance and custom business coaching: 
    July - December 2022


Workshops will be online 5:30 - 8:30 PM on Thursday Evenings 2-3 times a month.

Field days will be hosted at farms around the state 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. 

 

Eligibility for Participation

Participants must meet the following criteria to be eligible:

  • Must be planning to start (in 2022), or already actively engaged in, growing and selling fresh fruits, vegetables, niche crops, and/or grass-based livestock.
  • Be available to attend each program workshop, at least one field day, and complete any necessary work between workshops.
  • Transportation to and from field days.
  • computer (a cell phone is NOT an allowable substitution).
  • internet access capable of live video/audio streaming.
*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. 
 

Apply Online, starting November 15th to become a part of the Farmer Training Program! 

Program Objectives

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 fruits, vegetables, and grass-based livestock. This business development program is designed to help new and beginning farmers (0-10 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. 
 

Program Expenses

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.

Farmer Training Program is Made Possible by Funding From