Local farmers looking for guidance on the business end this winter can enroll in a six-week course called "Growing Farms: Successful Whole Farm Management."

Local farmers looking for guidance on the business end this winter can enroll in a six-week course called "Growing Farms: Successful Whole Farm Management."

Offered by the Oregon State University Extension Service, the course is for farmers with roughly one to five years of experience who feel they need a better understanding of both the biological and financial risks of farming.

"Very few new farmers have backgrounds in business, information technology or accounting," said Melissa Matthewson, OSU small farms extension agent and a course instructor. "But all those skills — and more — are necessary to run a profitable operation."

The classes will be held on consecutive Mondays Jan. 25 through March 1 from 4 to 8:30 p.m. at the Jackson County Extension Auditorium, 569 Hanley Road, Central Point. There also will be two field trips to local farms on Saturdays.

OSU faculty members, 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. That includes dinner at each meeting and all course materials.

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