Friday, March 07, 2008

Beginning Farming 101 ... Online Class

The "NY Beginning Farmer Project" of the Cornell University Cooperative Extension is offering an interesting new class. It isn't necessarily interesting because of the content, but rather because of the method in which you take the class. Beginning March 19th (and for the price of $200) you can take their new class, Beginning Farming 101, online. The course lasts about 9 weeks according to the website and the instructor introduces a new lesson once each week. With each lesson their will usually be materials to read and an assignment or question to answer. Also, it sounds like live video of a lecture or something like a lecture will be available from time to time. You can also watch the video at a later time.

I'm not sure if this class is just for New Yorkers or those that live in the Northeast, but I do find it very interesting. There are plenty of great classes, seminars, and other learning opportunities available here in Iowa, but so far none of them have fit my schedule. When you are farming in addition to a full-time job it is difficult to make enough time for everything, and then when I add in my coaching responsibilities all hope for making an event or class is thrown out the window. But, an online class would be something that is possible.

Many times I have mentioned how important reading is, but there just seems to be another level of learning that can take place when you are able to listen to someone teach and have discussion with others in the same class. That is one of the benefits of this class ... they will have plenty of discussion and interaction available through online forums and e-mail. Like their description says, "You will certainly 'meet' other new farmers and share ideas, plans and helpful resources with each other." As I have seen with this blog, "meeting" other farmers and beginning farmers has been a great help in my learning process.

If you would like to read more about the class you can check out THIS LINK. Or, if you are interested in knowing a little bit about what is covered the "Learning Section" of the NY Beginning Farmer Project website has some of the information they will be covering.

I have contacted them and I'm waiting to hear back about who can "attend" the class (can I sign-up if I'm from Iowa) and to see if there is any space. I'll let you know when I find something out.


Steven said...

I bet it's no problem to take the course as an out-of-stater. I know someone that took a course out of state just so he could qualify to invest in a credit union in that state. The investor had to be either a resident or a student. lol

tbarrett said...

Ethan, I've been enjoying your blog for the past three weeks or so. It has taken me that long to read all of your posts through Jan. 2008.

My favorite part about the blog is the community that has grown up around it. For several years I've been watching my hometown get plowed under for the sake of suburban sprawl, so it is very heartwarming to read about people that want to preserve our agricultural land and return to a simpler, more wholesome way of life.

Keep up the good work!

- Tony

Ethan Book said...

I still haven't heard back from them yet, but I did leave a couple of messages with them.

Tony - Glad you enjoy reading the blog, and I feel like I should give you a medal or something for fighting your way through the older posts! :) The community that has popped up is great, it is probably the best learning I have found in many ways!

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