Young Agrarians presents the Business Bootcamp for new farmers! This online, community-based program will give you the space and skills to write a stellar business plan for the farm of your dreams.
JOIN US FOR OUR NEXT BOOTCAMP IN FALL 2022!
The next round of the Business Bootcamp will run from October 6 – December 15, 2022. Registration is now open!
The Business Bootcamp is an eleven-week program, packed full of content and activities that will guide you through writing your farm business plan. Registration in the course includes access to a 40 page printable workbook, over 35 video tutorials, a curated list of more than 80 of our favourite business planning resources, and 20+ hours of virtual support and instruction, all broken down into easily digestible weekly modules. Each week will include pre-recorded videos, a worksheet, and a 2-hour online session.
The Business Bootcamp will cover everything from writing a mission statement to creating a financial plan to defining a marketing strategy. In this program you will have the opportunity to:
- Delve into the parts of a good farm business plan
- Gain insights from experts on your farm business
- Get to know others in farm start-up
- Hear ideas and inspiration from your peers
- Set yourself up to access capital
This program is open to all new and aspiring farmers who want to gain the skills and knowledge to write (or rewrite) a business plan for a farm enterprise. The Business Bootcamp is a great place to explore the viability of your farm dream, figure out details for your first growing season, or to investigate adding another enterprise to your current farm. You don’t have to own a farm yet, but having at least one full season of farming experience is advised for participants. All production types are welcome!
Is the Business Bootcamp for you?
The Business Bootcamp is best suited for folks who have some production experience and little or no farm business planning experience. We recommend having at least one year of hands-on farming experience (on your own farm or someone else’s) and more-or-less know what you want to grow and roughly how to grow it. Having a clear business concept will ensure that you get the most out of the program – but you do not need to know anything about business planning.
The Business Bootcamp is geared towards individuals or farm teams who
- Are planning on starting up an agricultural operation in the near future; or
- Are looking to expand an existing farm or hobby enterprise; or
- Want to start a new enterprise on an existing farm
Hear from some past participants of the Bootcamp:
In this video, Aras and Anastasia of Caspian Acres Farm share about their experience writing a business plan in the Business Bootcamp:
Not sure if the Business Bootcamp is right for you? Reach out to Alex at: email@example.com
“I am grateful for the opportunity to stretch my mind to really begin developing a stronger foundation for this up and coming farm business. It’s out of my comfort zone, but somehow having others who are in the same boat as I am has given me more of a spark to push through the hurdles.”
The Business Bootcamp is structured to facilitate farmer-to-farmer learning, which means it’s different from a standard webinar. Each week participants are expected to watch a pre-recorded video from each speaker and complete a worksheet before attending the online, live session (via Zoom).
Each speaker video covers the main concepts for their area of expertise. Some videos will focus on various elements of a business plan while others will be a story of how a farmer started their farm business. Each week will have 30–45 minutes of video content.
Each topic will also have a worksheet to complete. These worksheets will help you solidify your farm vision and write your business plan. You can expect to spend 30 minutes to 2 hours (or more) on each worksheet depending on the current state of your business plan and the specifics of your farm enterprise.
During the live session, you have the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers and to share your completed worksheet with peers in small groups. These sessions are participatory and driven by your needs. They’re also a great way to meet other new farmers! Each session is 2 hours long and we have live transcription available during all of our sessions.
The Business Bootcamp will run for 11 consecutive weeks with one topic per week. Live sessions are held on Thursday evenings (6 pm PT, 7 pm MT, 8 pm CT).
If you require any accommodations to make this program accessible, don’t hesitate to reach out to Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“This hardly felt like work at all! I have tried to write a biz plan before, but always lost steam because there are so many moving parts that it’s overwhelming. Having the deadline of the sessions, the energy and knowledge available from presenters and other participants and the pieces broken into digestible areas REALLY made a huge difference. I couldn’t be happier that I took this bootcamp and I feel motivated, inspired and confident about my next steps.”
We have carefully selected an exceptional team of course speakers to help you get your farm business off the ground! Learn from these amazing first-generation farmers and business experts.
The Business Bootcamp is facilitated by Alex Pulwicki, the E-Learning Coordinator at Young Agrarians.
Alex loves nothing more than bringing together people to celebrate local food and farms! As the E-Learning Coordinator for Young Agrarians she gets to meet amazing new and aspiring farmers and help them to connect with the resources and support needed to start farming. She enjoys making online spaces a place to build connections with people near and far. Alex has worked and volunteered at a number of farms across Alberta and is passionate about local dairy and cheesemaking. She currently sits on the Edmonton Food Council and is in the early stages of starting a small herbal tea farm. You can reach Alex at email@example.com.
To fully participate in the program, participants should have reliable access to a computer and a stable internet connection (to join Zoom video calls). Please contact Alex (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you need any technical support.
“I truly appreciated the idea sharing and helpful suggestions of the other participants. It was nice to be in a group of such diverse people with such different backgrounds and experiences and to be able to be seen as someone who was just trying to learn their best way forward like everyone else. What an awesome group of people.”
We love supporting new and young farmers to grow! To make the Business Bootcamp more affordable we are offering a sliding scale payment, which means that you are able to select how much you pay to participate. The suggested sliding scale cost is $250–$350, which is $25–$35 per session. We base the price range on the cost of running the program (coordination, speaker fees, facilitation, program development, and online infrastructure). When you register you are able to enter any amount as a registration fee. If you’d like to learn more, please go to “What is sliding scale payment? Why do we use it?”.
Farm partners/teams that are working on the same business plan can register together. If you have any questions, would like to pay without using a credit card, and/or want to arrange a payment plan, then please contact Alex at email@example.com
Will I have a completed farm business plan at the end of this program?
A farm business plan can take many different shapes and forms. The content and structure of a business plan will change depending on your needs – a business plan will look quite different if you are using it internally for strategic planning than if you’re going to take it to a lender to access financing. Since there is no “one size fits all” business plan, the Business Bootcamp is focused more on exploring the various elements of a good business plan specifically related to starting a farm. The worksheets and videos are meant to explain the parts of a business plan and prepare you to write one that suits your particular situation. We also provide several good business plan templates and a curated list of 80+ resources for completing a business plan.
How much time is required to participate in this program?
The program is 11 weeks long. Each week will have 30–45 minutes of video content and each live session is 2 hours long. You can also expect to spend 30 minutes to 2 hours (or more) on each worksheet depending on the current state of your business plan and the specifics of your farm enterprise. So each week will require about 3–5 hours of your time.
What are the exact dates and times of the live sessions?
All sessions are held on Thursdays from 6–8 pm Pacific Time, 7–9 pm Mountain Time, 8–10 pm Central Time.
Fall 2022 dates: October 6, October 13, October 20, October 27, November 3, November 10, November 17, November 24, December 1, December 8, & December 15
What if I can’t (or don’t want to) attend the live sessions?
Not a problem. All the live sessions will be recorded so you can always catch up by watching these videos. These recordings will be available only to program participants and only for the duration of the program. That being said, past participants have really enjoyed the live sessions and their farm business has benefited from connecting with the speakers and their peers, so you are encouraged to come when you can!
Will I have access to content after the program is over?
Absolutely! You’ll have access to the program website, which has all the pre-recorded videos, resources, and worksheets, after the Business Bootcamp is done.
When will you offer the next Business Bootcamp?
The next Business Bootcamp will run from October 6 – December 15, 2022. Register now!
“The Business Bootcamp has definitely increased my business knowledge and awareness. It has increased my networking potential with other new farmers. It has sparked my imagination to move forward and create my dream farm. A business that I can love, be proud of, and sustain both my family and community with.”
Questions or ideas? Email Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also check out more business resources for new farmers on our Farm Business Support page.
The Business Bootcamp is coordinated out of ᐊᒥᐢᑿᒌᐚᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ (Amiskwacîwâskahikan), which is in Treaty 6 and Métis Territory. This land is the meeting place of the Cree, Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibway/Saulteaux/Anishinaabe, Inuit, and many others. As we live and work in the context of, and in response to, a colonial land title system, it is important to acknowledge the historical and ongoing impact of agriculture on Indigenous lands and food systems. As Métis writer Chelsea Vowel says, “I think rural/Indigenous alliances have the potential to be the most transformative relationships in this country, even as they remain the least likely to occur.” In this context, we believe that it is our collective responsibility to position reconciliation, ecology and land stewardship at the forefront if we are to learn to be in relationship with the land.
“The first step in writing a business plan, which is really a plan for the tangible love you want to manifest in the world, is to imagine widely what is possible. We invite you to light a candle, call upon your ancestors, close your eyes, and dream into your biggest visions.”
– Leah Penniman from Farming While Black