Wanted: A New Crop of
Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers!
Applications for the 2014 Oklahoma Beginning Farmer & Rancher Program are no longer being accepted.
If you've been farming or raising livestock for fewer than ten years, the Kerr Center has got a great deal for you: a free course in sustainable farming or ranching.
The third year of the Oklahoma Beginning Farmer and Rancher Program (OKBFRP) is set to begin in February 2014.
See highlights of the 2013 OKBFRP and 2012 OKBFRP to get a feel for this exceptional educational opportunity!
The course consists of five Saturday training workshops. Participants choose to follow either a livestock or horticulture track.
The program will provide beginning farmers and ranchers with the information and techniques they need to be successful.
Kerr Center’s partners in this USDA-supported program are the Mvskoke Food Sovereignty Initiative (MFSI), the Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers Association (OFRA), OSU Cooperative Extension Service, and the Rural Smallholder Association (RSA).
There is no charge for tuition or course materials and lunch is included, too!
Students will attend workshops either at the Kerr Center's Farm and Ranch near Poteau or at the Mvskoke Food Sovereignty Initiative (MFSI) office in Okmulgee.
Prospective students are given the opportunity to choose which location they prefer (or if they have no preference) when they fill out the application.
Trainees should plan to attend every training workshop in their track including the first orientation and planning class on Feb. 1, and the final session in August, either at Poteau or Okmulgee.
The horticulture sessions then meet in March, May, and July; the livestock sessions in March, April, and June. See timeline for dates.
The classes will be a mix of classroom instruction and time out in the field with a focus on real-life problem-solving and hands-on skills.
Workshops will include presentations, discussion, and demonstration of important techniques and equipment. See course topics for more information.
Students attending in Okmulgee will be connected via webinar to Poteau for presentations. Hands-on activities for the Okmulgee location will be coordinated by MFSI.
For each session, the center also provides resources for students to take home. The presentations, reports, workbooks and fact sheets included will be useful for years. (See beginning farmer course materials page to view 2013 resources.)
This project was supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant no. 2011-49400-30525 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
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