Course Helps Present and Future Farmers Develop Business Plan for Success

EVERETT, Wash. — High consumer interest in organic and locally produced food is leading to a resurgence in interest and opportunities in local farming. Farming can be a great lifestyle choice, but it’s also a business enterprise and good planning is a key to economic success.

Washington State University Snohomish County Extension is offering the 12-week “Cultivating Success: Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Farm Business Planning” course. The class series is designed to help new and existing farmers gain skills in business planning and direct marketing.

The course will be presented on Tuesday evenings beginning Jan. 18 through April 5, from 6 to 9 p.m. at WSU Snohomish County Extension’s Cougar Auditorium in McCollum Park, 600 128th Street S.E. in Everett.

Class size is limited to 20 farms and pre-paid registration is required. Cost for the twelve-week course is $250. To register, download the form at and mail it with your check, or contact Karie Christensen at 425-357-6039 or by email

This in-depth business-planning course covers evaluating resources, planning and research, legal and management issues, marketing strategies, budgets and financial statements along with how to cultivate financial resources. The course will feature a line-up of local guest speakers including bankers, business professionals, and successful farm owners. The emphasis will be on the financial and legal issues unique to farm-based businesses. During the course, participants will develop a business plan they can literally take to the bank to finance a new enterprise or expand an existing farm-based business.

The course facilitator is Holly Thompson, a Stanwood Angus beef rancher and WSU graduate in animal science and agriculture economics. Well-versed in farm economics and current market trends, Thompson also facilitates Sustainable Small Acreage Farming & Ranching, the Cultivating Success introduction to farming course, and has worked as a loan officer for Northwest Farm Credit Services.

For more information on the course, contact Andrew Corbin at 425-357-6012 or For more information on the Cultivating Success program, visit The course is funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.