Extension course gives tips in farm management

Local small farmers looking for an edge in today's economy are encouraged to take a course offered by the Oregon State University Extension Service called "Growing Farms: Successful Whole Farm Management."

The six-week course is designed for farmers with one to five years of experience who feel they need a better understanding of both the biological and financial risks of farming.

Beginning Jan. 25, it will be held on Mondays through March 1 from 4 to 8:30 p.m. at the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center Auditorium, 569 Hanley Road, Central Point. Field days to local farms will be held on two Saturdays.

Participants will set goals, gain knowledge, assess skills, define values, contrast risks and rewards, and create a mission statement so they have the tools needed to better manage their farms. Specific topics include strategic planning; operations and infrastructure planning; direct marketing and marketing strategies; managing liability; production information and how to be a small farm entrepreneur.

A mix of SOREC faculty, experienced farmers and local business people will conduct the classes and share resources.

Cost for the series is $175 for one person or $300 for two people from the same farm. The fee covers dinner at each meeting and all course materials.

For more information or to register, call Tracy Harding at SOREC, 541-776-7371, ext. 208, or e-mail tracy.harding@oregonstate.edu.