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Workshop series to teach farmers how to develop a business plan

JACKSON, Tenn. – Many farmers may want to start their new year by attending a workshop series designed to teach them how to develop a business plan. “Building a Sustainable Business Workshop Series” will be held in Jackson with satellite locations via web conferencing in Columbia, Knoxville and Memphis. The workshop is being conducted by the University of Tennessee Center for Profitable Agriculture in cooperation with UT-Martin, UT Extension, AgLaunch and the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation.

Having a written business plan improves communication between producers and their business partners, stakeholders, lenders and other funding sources, says Hal Pepper, financial analysis specialist with the UT Center for Profitable Agriculture. “Business planning is an on-going, problem-solving process that can identify business challenges and opportunities and develop strategic objectives to move toward an operator’s vision. And some funding sources require a written business plan,” Pepper says.

Pepper, along with instructors from UT-Martin and UT Extension, will present a two-hour workshop each Tuesday evening beginning January 8, for eight weeks to help producers of direct marketing, food processing and agritourism enterprises develop a business plan. Different topics and speakers will be featured each night. Specialists will be available at each workshop location to answer questions and provide one-on-one technical assistance in the development of business plans over the eight weeks of the workshop series. The course will meet on these dates: January 8, 15, 22 and 29 and February 5, 12, 19 and 26.

Pre-registration is required, and the workshop will begin with check-in at 5:30 p.m. Central Time/6:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The workshop will begin at 6 pm Central Time/7 pm Eastern Time. Class locations are provided upon registration.

The registration fee is $25 for the total workshop series for one person or $20 per person for two or more people from the same farm. Space is limited and pre-registration is required no later than December 31. Information about the workshop series is available on the CPA’s website: and registration is now open online at

This workshop series fulfills a Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP) requirement in the Agritourism, Fruit and Vegetable and Value-Added Producer Diversification Sectors. Producers must attend a minimum of four sessions to receive one TAEP credit. Value-Added producers are eligible to receive two credits if all eight sessions are attended. For TAEP credit, missed sessions cannot be made up.

The “Building a Sustainable Business Workshop Series” was developed by the UT Center for Profitable Agriculture through funding provided by Southern Risk Management Education and is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2015-49200-24228.

Learn more about the Center for Profitable Agriculture online at Contact Pepper with questions about the workshop at [email protected] or 931-486-2777.

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture celebrates 50 years of excellence in providing Real. Life. Solutions. through teaching, discovery and service.