Farm Business Planning

If you have taken the Explore Farming course and decided that you want to start your own farm business, the Farm Business Planning Course is your next step.

This course meets in the evenings once a week for eight weeks at the New Entry office in Lowell. It is offered twice every year, a fall cycle (October-December) and a winter cycle (January-February). The standard course fee is $400, but you may be eligible for a tuition waiver of between $80 - $320, depending on your need.

The Fall 2015 Farm Business Planning Course will be offered from October 20 - December 8, 2015. 

The Winter 2016 course will be offered from January 5 - February 23, 2016.

(Please note, dates are approximate and subject to change.)

We are planning to restructure our course offerings in the near future, for a taste of our proposed curriculum and changes to our course, click here.  To sign up to be on our farmer advisory committee to provide input and feedback to our program design, email us.

NOTE: Before being admitted into the classroom Farm Business Planning Course, you must attend a session of Explore Farming. (In some cases, e.g. if you already have significant farming experience, this prerequisite may be waived; if you think this may apply to you, please email or call 978-654-6745.)


What You Will Learn

In this course, you will learn how to:

  • Identify goals and timelines for your farm business
  • Identify your assets and the resources available to you to start a successful business
  • Select the products that you want to market
  • Research the markets in your area and how to promote your farm products
  • Develop the individual elements necessary for an effective farm business plan, including enterprise budgets, a crop plan, cash flows, and more
  • Weave those elements together into a cohesive business plan

How to Apply

Complete the online Farm Business Planning Course Application. Prospective students may apply for a partial tuition scholarship by filling out the tuition scholarship section of the application. Scholarships will be awarded based on financial need and may cover up to 80% of the course fee. This form must be received no later than 10 days prior to the start of class in order to qualify.

For more information on the Farm Business Planning course, contact Nora Saks at (978) 654-6745 or