• Facebook Social Icon

Sustainable Small Acreage Farming & Ranching

Covering these primary topics:

  • Sustainability Concepts

  • Whole Farm Planning

  • Evaluating Resources

  • Enterprise Assessment

  • Marketing Strategies

  • Crop Production

  • Sustainable & Diversified Livestock Production

  • Equipment & Facilities

  • Enterprise Budgets

  • On-Farm Field Trips

This Cultivating Success™ course helps participants explore the unique challenges associated with starting up and successfully running a farm or food business. Whether you are just exploring the opportunities available or already have an existing operation, you’ll learn what it takes to create, sustain, and grow a viable small farm enterprise.

This course also offers a crucial opportunity to build your community network with your cohort and with presenters including local growers, organizations, and university specialists with expertise in direct marketing, value-added processing, production planning, agronomy, livestock production, and more.

Course Components & Dates

Jan. 14th: Introductory Webinar (online) | 6pm PT/ 7pm MT

Jan 18th: Whole Farm Planning  | 9am-3pm PT/ 10am-4pm MT

February 22nd: Sustainable Crop Production | 9am-3pm PT/10am-4pm MT

March 21st: Sustainable Livestock Production | 9am-3pm PT/10am-4pm MT


Farm Tours & Class Potluck: TBD

Locations (please click on the location you wish to register for):

Course Description

​This course will guide new and intermediate farmers through a series of steps to develop a whole farm plan.  Whether you are just starting a farm or ranch or are needing to refine your operation, this course is for you!  In this course you will: set/refine your personal and farm business goals, assess physical, financial, and personal resources available to you, and explore production enterprises that are the best fit for you and your land.  You'll leave the course with a whole farm plan and a better understanding of how to make your farm a success. Participants will be exposed to a variety of farming and ranching systems, network with other participants, get exposure to local resources, hear from experienced farmers, and visit local farms (please see the complete schedule below). This course will be offered in multiple locations throughout Idaho.


Who Should Take This Course?

Beginning or intermediate farmers and ranchers! This course is for those who have decided to make some or all of their livelihood from farming and are actively planning to start or expand their small farm or ranch within a few years. You do not, however, need to have land or know what you will grow. Exploring the opportunities is what we want to help you do.

Course Format & Dates

Your time in this course will be evenly split between in-class sessions and online assignments. First, participants will watch a live webinar on Jan. 14th, 2020 that will introduce them to the instructors, online platform, and general course expectations. Then, 3-full day in-class sessions will be offered at the location where you register on Saturday  January 18th, February 22nd, and March 21st, 2020.  An end of class potluck will be scheduled for late March at each local site. Additionally, at least two farm tours will be scheduled in the spring at farms and ranches, times to be determined. Local site instructors will work with participants to determine these tours based on interest and scheduling availability. Participants are expected to attend all course sessions and events. Individual session registration is not available. 


Course Materials

Participants will receive a variety of course materials including the latest copies of research-backed publications, activity sheets, budgeting tools, and more. Participants will need to purchase course textbooks or request them from their local library before the January 18th class session. 2020 textbooks include: The Market Gardener by J.M. Fortier, Sustainable Small-Scale Livestock by C. Ekarius, and Farming Alternatives by Cornell Cooperative Extension. 

Course Fee

The course is $115 for the full series, which includes course materials, class sessions, and farm tours.  Spouses, partners, or additional adult family members can take the course for an extra $35 but will receive only one copy of materials. Additional youth family members (17 years or younger) can take the course for $10. Registration is required by January 2020 so that participants can receive pre-workshop content and further instruction.

Current Program Sponsors:

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Project Number: 2019-49400-30034