Monday, March 30, 2015

Sustainable agriculture tutorials available

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Whether you’re just considering getting into sustainable agriculture or are looking for help with specific issues affecting your operation, ATTRA’s expert staff, publications, databases, and other resources have been a go-to source of information for more than 25 years.
And ATTRA is now offering two new additions to the series of possibly its most comprehensive resource – sustainable agriculture tutorials.
The free, self-guided tutorials are more than just online talks. They contain multiple lessons with ATTRA specialists and other well-known experts in sustainable agriculture. They’re designed so you can delve deeply into the subject while working at your own pace and include calculators, worksheets, resource lists, and other downloadable tools.
And as further encouragement, the tutorials include “case study” conversations with successful producers who know what it takes to make a go of farming.
The tutorials are available on the National Center for Appropriate Technology’s ATTRA website at
The two new tutorials are geared toward current producers:
Scaling Up for Regional Markets 
There are many risks and challenges associated in scaling up, especially as a farmer prepares to gain access in to the wholesale market. This tutorial provides lessons and information for farmers who have success in smaller and more direct marketing channels and who are interested in expanding their operations to meet a growing demand for local food.
Pest Management
This tutorial focuses on giving you tools to implement ecologically-based pest management strategies. The five lessons in this tutorial provide information on what ecological pest management is, how to get started, how to implement preventive strategies, biological controls, and how to use NCAT and ATTRA resources. There are also resources to help you develop your own ecological pest management strategy for your farm.
Other ATTRA tutorials will help participants in developing a business plan for their farm.
Farm Business Planning and Marketing for Beginners
Are you a beginning farmer? Do you want to expand your markets? Do you want to add sheep, goats, or poultry to your operation? This "beginner" online course will help you develop a basic business and marketing plan for your operation, and provide you with information and worksheets to help you meet your farm goals. There's lots of information about small livestock production, too. The resource provides information in visual and audio formats.
Most of the information in this tutorial is available in English and Spanish
Getting Started in Farming: An Introduction to Farm Business Planning
If you are thinking about farming as a career you've come to the right place. The eight lessons in this course will guide you through the process of imagining and planning a successful farming enterprise. You'll also hear from several farmers who have made their dreams a reality.
Since 1976, the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) has been helping people by championing small-scale, local and sustainable solutions to reduce poverty, promote healthy communities and protect natural resources. In partnership with businesses, organizations, individuals and agricultural producers, NCAT is working to advance solutions that will ensure the next generation inherits a world that has clean air and water, energy production that is efficient and renewable, and healthy foods grown with sustainable practices. More information about its programs and services is available at or by calling 1-800-ASK-NCAT.
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Helping people by championing small-scale, local, and sustainable solutions to reduce poverty, promote healthy communities, and protect natural resources.


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