BC – Business Mentorship Network Overview

New Farmers Apply for Farm Business Support through Young Agrarians Mentorship Network

Welcome to the BC Business Mentorship Network !

If you are in the Prairies please, go to the “Prairies – Business Mentorship Network Overview” topic in the menu on the left.

If you are new to Young Agrarians, start here:

We are excited to connect farmer to farmer and continue to weave a network of support that is invaluable to farmers in the first few years of establishing their business.  Every effort has been made to provide you with a knowledgeable, caring Mentor to support you in your farming journey. As we move through the year, the focus of the program will shift to reflect the needs, activities, and demands you will be experiencing as a farmer.

WINTER & EARLY SPRING

  1. Orientation Session | Our first online gathering will be on Monday, January 9th, 2023 from 4 – 5 pm. This will be a chance for us to get to know one another and share important details about the program. Zoom link here.
  2. Webinars | During January and February, we will offer a variety of webinars. Some will be live and some will be a combination of pre-recorded content sessions that you can view in advance, plus a live follow up Question and Answer session. The four pre-recorded sessions are found on this course webpage and cover farm business basics and financial management topics. The live Q&A sessions are participatory, and will be driven by your unique questions and interests!

Dates and registration links to each session currently scheduled can be found below. There will be an additional one or two live sessions on Marketing and Farm taxes so when I get those scheduled I will send you an email with additional links to register.

Please register in advance to gain access to the login information for each session.

January 17th | 7:00 – 8:00 pm (Q&A session): Farm Business 101 (Watch prerecorded content first and click the link to register)

January 24th | 7 – 8 pm (Q&A Session):  Best Practices in Farm Financial Management (Watch the pre-recorded content first and click the link to register)

January 31st | 7 – 8 pm (Q&A Session): Understanding Financial Statements (Watch the pre-recorded content first and click the link to register)

February 7th | 7 – 8 pm (Q&A Session): Using Cash Flow Projections (Watch the pre-recorded content first and click the link to register)

You are encouraged to upgrade/download Zoom ahead of time: https://zoom.us/download

3. Establish a weekly schedule with your Mentor |  During the winter and early spring months is the time you will be meeting weekly with your Mentor. Weekly meetings ensure you build momentum in your planning process and utilize the majority of your Mentorship hours to plan well for your year ahead. If you have any issues or concerns as you go through this aspect of the program please send me a note, I am here to support you to get the most out of this experience!

4. Google Workbook | Please make use of your Google Workbook that was shared at your first Mentor meeting. This document helps anchor the process of Mentorship by being a shared space to record your progress through the program. Please track your completion of program requirements on the Schedule/Checklist tab.

5. BMN Facebook Group | Please join our private BMN Facebook Group . You will receive an email invitation to join. Here you will find connection to the Alumni of the BMN program from the past four years as well as the current cohort. This is a space to easily share questions, resources, and ideas with your fellow Mentees.

6. Blog Post | Beginning in late February/early March I will be sending out a list of interview questions that I will ask you to complete and send back with two or three pictures of you and your farm. I will format these and post them weekly into the early summer. I will share a link with you so you may use these posts on your own social media to promote your farm.

LATE SPRING & SUMMER

It’s “go time” for all of us seasonal producers and “keep going” time for anyone with year round production! Though we might be seeing a bit less of each other during these months, we’re cheering for you all the way.

  1. Check-Ins |  As you move into the growing season, your focus will inevitably shift to the day-to-day operations of your farm. Communicate with your Mentor to establish the best way to keep in touch over this busy season. Reach out to your Mentor, to me and to your fellow Mentees if you wish to share challenges and victories!

2. Kitchen Table Conversations | I will host a monthly live call for informal connecting, sharing and commiserating among the Mentee cohort from 7 – 8 pm on the last Wednesday of each month running from March through to October. I will send reminders the week before so you remember to join us and weave the network of support. Zoom link here.

FALL & WINTER

You did it! The end of the season is in sight, and now it’s time to reflect on what you have accomplished.

  1. Blog Post | I will send out a new set of interview questions, ask for more lovely pictures from your season and send you the new link to your blog to share on your social media. Deadline for submissions will be October 13th, 2023.
  2. Wrap Up Kitchen Table Session | Our final online Kitchen Table gathering will be on October 25th, 2023. It will be a chance for you to reflect on the mentorship experience, share lessons learned, and celebrate your successes.
  3. Final Mentorship Meetings | Book a meeting or more with your Mentor to reflect on the goals you set for yourself and track your progress. Check how many hours you have remaining to you and consider if there is more support you need. Celebrate your achievements and let your experience inform your planning for 2023!
  4. Submit your Metrics | Please fill out your end of production season financials, land in production, and volume of food produced in your workbook by December 8th, 2023.
  5. Evaluation | Please take a moment to fill our our end of program evaluation. Linked here and sent by email in November with a December 8th deadline. We’d love to hear about your experience! In the same way that you have benefited from the feedback of past participants, your feedback helps us to improve the program for future participants.

 

CONTACT

If you have questions or require additional support at any point during the program, please contact me, Melanie Buffel, at business@youngagrarians.org or 604-764-1774.