AgEBB-MU CAFNR Extension

Linda Geist
Senior Information Specialist
University of Missouri Cooperative Media Group

January 24, 2017

Grow Your Farm sessions begin Feb. 21 in Warrensburg

WARRENSBURG, Mo. - Grow Your Farm sessions for beginning farmers begin Feb. 21 at the University of Missouri Extension Center in Johnson County.

MU Extension, through a grant from USDA Office of Advocacy and Outreach to help veterans, Latinos and socially disadvantaged persons who want to farm, offers the program to increase agribusinesses and enterprise development. Karen Funkenbusch serves as director. Debi Kelly, Eleazor Gonzalez and Patricia Barrett serve as co-directors.

The USDA 2501 grant helps beginning farmers and others evaluate and plan their farm enterprise. Participants attend a set of practical seminars and field days to learn from MU specialists, farmers and agribusiness operators. The grant comes at a critical time, Funkenbusch says. More than 300,000 veterans are expected to return to their rural Missouri roots in the next decade. "Many of them will seek work in agriculture," she says. Latinos also represent one of the fastest-growing populations of new farm operators.

Session topics:

  • Feb. 21: Susan Jaster, farm outreach worker at Lincoln University Cooperative Extension, opens the event with "Identifying Values and Creating Goals."
  • March 2: MU Extension agricultural business specialist Nathanial Cahill speaks on "Planning the Farm."
  • March 9: Phillip Boydston, farm outreach worker at Lincoln University Cooperative Extension, speaks on "Walking the Farm."
  • March 14: Cahill speaks on "Assessing Opportunities."
  • March 23: Cahill gives information on "Keeping Track of Finances."
  • March 30: Jeff Samborski, MU Extension business development specialist, offers help on "Marketing Farm Products."
  • April 6: Cahill speaks on "Rural Legal Issues."
  • April 13: Cahill leads "Farmer Presentations."

There also will be farm tours. Locations and dates have not been announced yet.

There is a reduced fee of $35 for veterans, Latinos and those from socially disadvantaged groups. There is a $130 fee for two attendees from the same farm, and a $25 fee for each additional person from the same farm.

For more information, contact Nate Cahill at or 660-747-3193. Register by Feb. 14 by sending a check to MU Extension in Johnson County, 135 W. Market St., Warrensburg, MO 64093

USDA helps fund this program as part of an $8.4 million set of grants to 24 states through the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program, also known as the 2501 Program. As part of the grant, MU Extension also will offer "Understanding the Alphabet Soup of USDA Programs" near military bases and areas identified by USDA as "StrikeForce" and "Promise Zone" initiatives.

Source: Karen Funkenbusch, 573-884-1268

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