Registration for the seventh year of Field School’s Winter Business Intensive is now underway at arcd.org/field-school.

The Appalachian Resource Conservation & Development Council has been awarded USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program grant to fund Field School for three years. The Winter Business Intensive is the region’s only beginning farmer training program that is accredited by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. This accreditation allows graduates to qualify for two education credits toward the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program Producer Diversification Cost-Share Program. Field School is the first program outside of the University of Tennessee to receive accreditation.

Field School’s Winter Business Intensive consists of eight in-person classes along with a live streamed webinar option held November through March on topics ranging from creating a business plan to marketing for farms to farm finances and legal matters. These sessions are taught by more than 20 agriculture experts from USDA Extension, NRCS, Farm Service Agency, and more, plus experienced local farmers who provide an inside look into their operations.

The cost for all eight workshops is $99 and includes the book Whole Farm Managements, a printed resource binder, and access to recorded webinars. The agency also has scholarships available for veterans, minority farmers and limited resource farmers. The first workshop will be at 6 p.m. on Nov. 11. A full class schedule can be found at arcd.org/field-school. The deadline to register is Nov. 1.

The Field School Winter Business Intensive is geared toward farmers with some on-farm experience so they can hone a business idea. While some of the resources discussed in the classes will be just for Tennessee farmers, the vast majority of the information will be useful for farmers living anywhere in the United States. The workshops will be conducted in person at the Jonesborough Farm Bureau and live-streamed online over Zoom, with the option for folks to listen by phone if they don’t have a strong enough internet connection.

Appalachian Resource Conservation and Development Council is a 501©3 nonprofit organization serving the six-county region of Northeast Tennessee. The mission of ARCD is to conserve natural resources and improve rural economies through community leadership and enhanced educational opportunities. For more information on ARCD and its programming, visit arcd.org.