Farm Biz classes meet

every Tuesday, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

from January 29th to March 26th.


Sierra Harvest office 
313 Railroad Ave Ste 201
Nevada City, CA 95959

Driving Directions 


Molly Nakahara 
Sierra Harvest 

Farm Biz 2019 Registration 

This 10-part course takes farmers through the steps of planning and projecting the financial side of the farming season. Farmers will work to project sales and tally up expenses, finding the numbers needed to understand the coming season.  Tuition for the course is $455 which includes attendance to the 2019 Food and Farming Conference (a value of $170).  See course syllabus below for details.

Class 1: Setting Production Goals

 Tuesday, January 29th, 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

 You’ve got land, some good ideas, and a lot of energy to get going – now what?  It’s time to sit down and make a plan for the coming growing season.  What can you grow?  What can you sell? How can you trial an idea without breaking the bank?  Take a critical look at the opportunities available to you and brainstorm ways to use them to build a niche for your farm business.  What will your schedule look like through the year to make this production possible?  What are your busy times and priorities?  Will you need to hire labor?


Class 2:  Projecting Yields & Sales

Tuesday, February 5th, 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Now that you’ve got a plan, let’s get down to the nuts of bolts.  How much can you grow?  What yields can you expect for Nevada County?  How do you plan for loss?  How long will your harvest and sales window be?  Who can you sell your products to and at what price? 


Class 3:  Sustainable Food and Farm Conference (value of $170)

Saturday, February 8th – Sunday, February 10th

Attendance Saturday-Sunday at the Sierra Harvest Sustainable Food and Farm Conference is included in tuition of Farm Biz.  To purchase additional days or events, please go here:  http://www.foodandfarmconference.com/ 


Class 4: Estimating Costs

Tuesday, February 12th, 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

It is tons of fun to think about potential sales for a season, but knowing the costs of production is the mark of a great farmer.  How much time will it take to meet your production goals?  What are the real costs of getting a crop to market?  Understanding costs will help you make important decisions about your farm, set correct prices and earn the income you deserve.


Class 5: Cash Flow Calendar

Tuesday, February 19th, 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

We’ve looked at income and expenses and now it’s time to lay those numbers out across the season.  Farmers often spend a lot of money in the winter and spring, well before any crops are ready for sale.   Creating a cash-flow budget will help you to predict and plan for lean times.  Your cash flow budget will then serve a guide throughout the season, helping you to keep within your budget and meet your profit goals


Class 6:  Financial Planning for the Year

Tuesday, February 26th, 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.


Workshop time to get the financial plan fully flushed out.


Class 7:  Analyzing Your Farm

Tuesday, March 5th, 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

It can be very easy to tell you self over and over again that you can “make it work” but what are the numbers really telling you?  How do you know if a crop is a good choice or not?  How do you know if you’re costs are too high or your price is too low?  Learn tools to analyze your farm financials and make informed decisions that will lead you down a path of success! 


Daylight Savings, March 10th


Class 8:  Farmer Professionalism

Tuesday, March 12th, 3;00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 

We know that you can grow the perfect cucumber but then what?  Getting your crop from the ground to the market takes professionalism and business skills.  We’ll go over the basics of maintaining great relationships with your buyers, ensuring maximum sales over the season.   Learn about all of the regulations that you must comply with as a small farmer. 


Class 9:  Understanding Your Customers

Tuesday, March 19th, 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Sell it before you grow it!  You are excited about your crops but other people have to be excited about them too!  Who are your customers?  What do they want to buy from a local farm?  What quantity, what price?  Gain tools and be inspired to reach out to potential customers and ask questions that will inform your farm plan.  Knowing who is buying your products will help you understand how to market your farm business.  Learn about market opportunities in Nevada County.


Class 10: Marketing Your Farm

Tuesday, March 26th, 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

A wise farmer once said that you must spend 100% of your time producing your farm products and 100% of your time marketing your farm products.  In order to “sell it before you grow it” you have to commit to marketing your farm and your farm products.  Learn how to tell your farm story to potential customers and fold a marketing plan into your farming season.