Cultivating Success is a unique community-based education program at Washington State University and the University of Idaho. It is a series of courses that can be taken individually or for a Certificate of Completion. For a complete description of all classes available through county Extension offices and on campus in Pullman, please visit the Cultivating Success site.
Three courses are available across Washington State, see descriptions, below:
- Sustainable Small Farming and Ranching
- Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Business Planning
- On-Farm Internship - scroll down for details
We offer affordable classes tailored to the modern small-acreage farmer. Our three course series provides beginning and existing farmers with the planning and decision-making tools, research skills and support necessary to develop a sustainable small acreage agricultural enterprise. Courses include classroom instruction, hands on learning, farm visits, and guest experts. Courses are taught by WSU faculty and are offered around the state, usually in the evenings. Students can elect whether to take the course for college credit or continuing education units (CEUs).
“ Wealth of info…outstanding package of human and informational resources …highly practical …very amiable group…lively, interesting, engaging…focus on Western WA conditions very helpful”
“[I would recommend this course] especially those new to but interested in farming or those who are really desiring to implement big changes in their farm system”
“Good broad base of farm knowledge geared to small farms”
“Great networking, excellent teaching”
“Caused me to think of other aspects of my farm operation and gave me knowledge to implement new things”
Sustainable Small Farming and Ranching
Practical information about whole farm planning, ecologically-based, diversified production systems, and alternative marketing techniques. Gain knowledge of the practical aspects of sustainable small acreage production systems for a wide variety of enterprises. The course involves field trips to local farms as well as classroom instruction.
- Integrated soil fertility management and composting
- Integrated pest management at the farm level
- Livestock production based on rotational grazing and exploring options for mixed species grazing
- Crop planning
- Whole farm planning and record keeping strategies
- Evaluating personal and family goals
- Researching marketing and community resources
Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Business Planning
The federal small business administration cites the development of a business plan as a central factor in determining the success rate of start-up small businesses.
In this class participants learn how to write a business plan, how to develop an innovative marketing concept and strategy, and how to evaluate the production costs and economic returns to their business for the different crops and livestock they choose to produce.
This course draws on local business and financial experts, bank officers, legal experts, and small business counselors, as well as successful local farmers as guest speakers and field trip visits. These contacts help new and established farmers accurately assess what it will take to launch a new agricultural business and maintain its financial health, as well as begin to develop a support network.
Past students have found this course invaluable for developing a sound business plan, whether it was to improve an existing business or to begin a long-held dream.
Classroom instruction alone does not provide a person with the necessary skills they need to succeed as a farmer. We link students with farms where they can learn specific skills for use in their own farm enterprise. Farm internship hosts receive the training and assistance they need to provide a quality, educational program tailored to the individual interests of each student.
Internships will be arranged on an individual basis with students according to their learning goals. Some students may be able to relocate to a farm over the course of a summer in a more traditional farm internship, while others may prefer to work for small segments of time over an extended period. Farmer instructors are required to develop lesson plans for their farming activities.
2012 Host Farms for On-farm Internships
We have an exciting lineup of certified Cultivating Success internship farms!
Amaranth Urban Farm, Puyallup (Nicole Capizzi)
Through the Jefferson County FIELD Program:
Solstice Farm, Jim Rueff & Linda Davis
SpringRain Farm, John Bellow (& Roxanne Hudson, curriculum director)
Finn River Farm, Janet Aubin & Jeff Horwath
Sunfield Farm & Waldorf School, Verity & Neil Howe (in process)