Study circle participants share experiences around the dinner table.
The Penn State Extension Start Farming Team has begun another season of study circle meetings across the state. Study circles are gatherings held for new and young farmers establishing their businesses (in years 2-10 of their operation) who want to learn from each other and discuss challenges with invited experts, compare notes with peers, and network over a shared meal. Farmers help guide the meeting topics and discussion, from production practices, to business management and marketing strategies.
Chris Brittenberg and Aeros Lillstrom hosted the February study circle for western Pennsylvania growers at their Who Cooks for You Farm in Clarion County. Eighteen growers with a range of years of experience in farming gathered for a potluck dinner and discussion. The question on the table: what are the most effective steps that small scale farmers can take to improve efficiency? Here are some of the recommendations generated by the group:
Penn State offers opportunities for exploring, start-up, establishing, and next generation farmers. Visit the Start Farming website to find more resources.
This project is supported by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Grant # 2015-70017-22852.