Farm Biz classes meet

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

from January 14th to February 25th.


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

Driving Directions 


Molly Nakahara 
Sierra Harvest 

Farm Biz 2020 Registration 

In this 7-part course, you'll learn each component of accurately planning and projecting the financial side of a farming season.   Work to predict yields, set prices, project sales, tally-up expenses, discovering the numbers needed to understand the health of your farm.  Find out all that is required to start a farm in Nevada County.   Tuition for the course is $435 which includes attendance to the 2019 Food and Farming Conference (a value of $170).  See course syllabus below for details.

Each class will feature a guest farmer to provide a real-world perspective on the day's topic.  Meet a handful of the most successful producers in Nevada County and gain insight on what really happens out on the farm!

Class 1: The Big Picture- Making a Living from your Farm or Ranch, Tuesday, January 14th, 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

You’ve got land, have tried some good ideas out and want to grow our business – 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? Take a critical look at the opportunities available to you and brainstorm ways to use them to build a niche for your farm or ranch business.  Learn how to take the first steps toward sharing your farm story, creating an authentic brand, and building a loyal customer base.

 Class 2:  Projecting Yields & Sales, Tuesday, January 21st, 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

You can’t throw seeds in the ground, cross your fingers, and call it a day.  You need to have an accurate and reasonable plan for the coming season and the discipline to stick to it!  Learn how to project potential yields and income from your crop plan.  Understand how to plan for loss and give yourself the wiggle room to succeed with a crop no matter what the elements throw at you.  Discover ways to successfully trial ideas without wasting money.

 Class 3: Estimating Costs & Setting Prices, Tuesday, January 28th, 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 4: Build A Cash Flow Calendar & Budget, Tuesday, February 4th, 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

 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 see conference keynotes and schedule, or to purchase Friday Farm Tour ticket, visit: http://www.foodandfarmconference.com/

Class 5:  Analyzing Your Farm and Farm Products, Tuesday, February 11th, 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!  Discover quick and dirty benchmarks to gauge crop performance during the season.

 Class 6:  Farmer Professionalism, Tuesday, February 18th, 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 or rancher and all of the steps you need to take to start a farm business in Nevada County.

 Class 7:  Cultivating Customers - Telling your Farm Story, Tuesday, February 25th, 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

 Who are your customers?  How are you connecting with them?  Do you know what they want from you? Create a sales and marketing plan that will help you tell your authentic farm story to current and future customers.  Stay connected to the people you are feeding and keep them engaged in the ups and downs of the farm.