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For Immediate Release                                            
Beth Holtzman, [log in to unmask]

Getting Your Ag Business off the Right Start: Women’s Ag Network Course for Beginning Farmers
BERLIN, VT – Growing Places, a non-credit course designed to help people explore the possibilities – and realities – of owning or expanding an agricultural business, will be offered by the Women’s Agricultural Network (WAgN) in Middlebury beginning in mid-October. Additional on-line sessions will be offered in early 2008.
People interested in all types of farm enterprises are welcome, and no prior experience is necessary. “Growing Places is designed to help ag entrepreneurs get off to the right start in business planning and development,” says WAgN Coordinator Beth Holtzman.
Whether in person or on-line, Growing Places offers the same curriculum. Participants develop goals for themselves and their businesses, become more familiar with financing options, identify and evaluate available resources, examine marketing strategies, and learn about agencies and organizations that provide support and assistance to farmers.
“The course covered a lot of topics at a reasonable depth, giving us concrete information as well as a lot of food for thought,” said a recent Growing Places graduate. “Now I feel much more confident about what I need to do next and how I should operate my business.”
Since 1995, more than 250 people have completed Growing Places. People for whom travel time, family and work commitments make participation in an in-person class difficult, may find the on-line course a good option. Individuals with slower Internet connections, who prefer “live” interaction, or who are less comfortable with written communication may prefer the classroom setting. Two on-line sessions will be offered in early 2008.
Growing Places is open to anyone. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Middlebury course will run on three consecutive Saturdays beginning October 13 from 9 am to 3 pm. Tuition is $125, but there is a $25 discount for people who register by the early bird deadline of September 24. The regular registration deadline is October 2. Limited scholarship assistance is available.
For more information and to obtain registration materials, visit WAgN’s website at Or, contact WAgN Outreach Coordinator Beth Holtzman at 802-223-2389 or toll-free in Vermont at 866-860-1382.
Growing Places is offered by the Women’s Agricultural Network (WAgN) a program of University of Vermont Extension supported by the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Competitive Grants Program of the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, USDA and the USDA Risk Management Agency.
UVM Extension and USDA, cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation and marital or familial status.

Beth Holtzman
Women's Agricultural Network

617 Comstock Rd.
Berlin, VT 05602

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802-223-2389 ext. 15