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Utah Farming Training

Educating a new cohort of agricultural stewards in Utah

The Utah Farmer Training Program offers a transformative journey into the world of sustainable agriculture, providing aspiring, and established farmers with the essential knowledge and skills needed for success in growing specialty crops for market. Through a thoughtfully designed curriculum, participants will delve into key areas including soil health, effective marketing and packaging strategies, food safety practices, business management, strategic crop planning, innovative season extension techniques, and mastery of vital tools. They will explore the intricacies of composting, amendments, and biodynamic approaches, while also gaining insight into the process of achieving organic certification.

 

With a combination of interactive workshops, immersive field experiences, expert-led lectures, and collaborative discussions, participants will emerge equipped with a profound understanding of holistic farming practices that ensure environmental stewardship, financial viability, and a thriving local agricultural ecosystem. The curriculum embraces urban agriculture, allowing participants to explore innovative ways of growing food in urban settings. Additionally, participants will gain insights into the direct-to-consumer model, fostering relationships with local markets, restaurants, and consumers. Upon completion, participants will be equipped with the tools to thrive and run a financially successful farm and be awarded a certificate, symbolizing their commitment to fostering sustainable, organic, and resilient farming practices in Utah's dynamic agricultural landscape.

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Led by farmers Sara Patterson and TK Kern, the Utah Farmer Training unfolds at Red Acre Farm, a flourishing 2-acre diversified biodynamic no-till farm nestled in the Cedar Valley. TK Kern brings his extensive expertise in crop production, organic practices, and sustainable farming gained through years of hands-on experience. Sara Patterson, owner and founder of Red Acre Farm and pioneer in Utah's direct-to-consumer agriculture scene, complements the team with her insights into market strategies and innovative farming techniques.

 

Red Acre Farm, with its vibrant fields, greenhouses, and no-till cultivation methods, serves as the perfect canvas for hands-on learning. Participants have the unique privilege of learning amidst the very practices they're studying, gaining firsthand experience in a nurturing environment that embodies the principles of sustainable agriculture. Under the guidance of Sara, TK, and the Red Acre Farm crew, participants are not only learning from experts but also cultivating a lasting connection to the land and the art of successful, environmentally conscious farming.

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Summer Course $1,000 

Winter Course $500

An intimate and focused learning experience, we welcome a limited cohort of only 6 prospective or current farmers for each season. This small group setting allows for meaningful interactions, robust discussions, and hands-on experiences that will empower participants to truly thrive in their agricultural pursuits.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to transform your farming journey. Secure your spot in the Summer Course 2024 now - the deadline is February 20th.

Course will be March 7th - August 29th. A three hour lecture is given each week, generally on Thursday afternoons.

We're happy to offer scholarships to current and future farmers who may face financial constraints. If you're passionate about sustainable farming and eager to participate in either course, we encourage you to request financial assistance on your application.

Summer 24 Week Course

Summer: Thriving Amidst Abundance

Dive into the world of vibrant growth and abundance in our summer course amidst sun-drenched fields and bursting greenhouses. From sowing seeds to bustling farmers markets, this course invites you to be part of the life force of the growing season. This summer journey is your chance to cultivate skills, forge lasting connections, and embrace the art of thriving within nature's bounty.

Course Schedule

Lecture & Discussion will be held weekly for 3 hours on mostly Thursday afternoons, with hours fluctuating slightly over the season. These will be led by TK, Sara, and guest lecturers.

Hands-On training will be available flexibly thought the week. We recommend planning on 4 hours per week.

A full outline of the course schedule will be made available in February.

Winter 12 Week Course

Winter: Cultivating Resilience in the Cold

Uncover the secrets of year-round farming resilience in our winter course amidst frost-kissed fields and cozy greenhouses. Participants will delve into the intricacies of season extension techniques and business planning for colder months. From nurturing soil health with over-wintered cover crops to mastering the art of storing and selling root crops, this winter course empowers you to sow the seeds of success even when the land rests. Whether you're a dedicated farmer or an aspiring market grower, this course offers you the chance to deepen your knowledge, connect with fellow learners, and foster the resilience needed to flourish in every season.

lecture TOPICS

  • Overview 

  • Soil

  • Marketing / Packaging

  • Food Safety

  • Business 

  • Crop Planning

  • Season Extension

  • Tools 

  • Compost / Amendments / Biodynamics

  • Organic Certification

Reading List

  • Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations by David R. Montgomery

  • The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball

  • The Unsettling of America by Wendell Berry

  • Teaming with Microbes by Jeff Lowenfels, Wayne Lewis

  • Letters to a Young Farmer by Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

  • You Can Farm by Joel Salatin

  • The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

  • Dreams First, Details Later by Ellen Bennet

Reference List

  • The Winter Harvest Handbook by Elliot Coleman

  • The New Organic Grower by Elliot Coleman

  • The Market Gardener by J.M. Fortier

  • The No-Till Organic Vegetable Farm by Daniel Mays

Course Schedule

Lecture & Discussion

Details to be announced

Funding for Red Acre Center Farmer Training was made possible by a grant/cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA

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