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Farmers' and ranchers' entrepreneurship program planned

Nebraska

Agricultural producers looking for new income opportunities should mark their calendars for a value-added workshop on June 12, at the North Platte Community College South Campus, said Randy Saner, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension educator for Lincoln and McPherson counties.

The "Value Added Marketing and Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Production" program, geared to ag educators and producers as well as farmer's market managers, will begin with registration at 9:30 a.m., Saner said. The $10 pre-registration fee covers lunch as well as all course sessions. The charge will be $15 at the door.

Morning sessions will start with an introduction at 9:45, followed by presentations including: "Low Cost Heifer Development," with Rick Funston, UNL Extension Reproductive physiologist; and "100 Cow/100 Acre Program," with Weldon Sleight, dean, Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture.

U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies will present the following four loan programs available to ag producers.

--"Value Added Agriculture," Bruce Solko, County executive director, Farm Service Agency;

--"Beginning Farmers," Farm Service Agency;

--"Conservation Practices," Mary Reece, district conservationist, Natural Resource Conservation Service;

--"Low Income Farmers," Farm Service Agency.

The 12:30 luncheon speaker, Connie Hancock, Extension educator, will talk about "Entrepreneurship in Nebraska."

Afternoon topics include: "What Community Colleges Can Offer," with Cinch Munson, associate vice president, Center for Enterprise, Mid-Plains Community College; and "Agri-Tourism Development," with Tom Tabor, Ecotourism development consultant, Nebraska Department of Economic Development. A farmer panel of Cathy Grauerholz, Don and Barb Batie, Mark Peiper, Brian Armstrong and Rosemary Anderson will discuss direct marketing of vegetables, growing Indian corn, establishing a vineyard, raising pumpkins, and developing heifers.

By assessing markets and adding products, services or value to their current mix, agricultural entrepreneurs can add value to the income line on their balance sheets. Saner encourages interested innovators to save the day to gain ideas, training or to just get questions answered.

For more information, call Saner at 308-532-2683.



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