Jennifer Taylor is Director of The California Farm Academy in Winters. She says 220 hours of instruction covered everything from planning…to planting, "Access to land and startup capital is always a challenge for beginning farmers. But also, we noticed that expanding the markets for fresh local produce and small-scale farmers and finding affordable machinery and inputs for startup farms is also a pretty big challenge."
Vonita Murray is a graduating student. She started a farm last year outside of Woodland without knowing much about …farming. She says the academy helped her with marketing and sales, "I currently grow for a couple of local restaurants, which is really exciting for me. And I have a small farm stand. But I'm actually working on a grant proposal right now to start a mobile farm stand to reach food deserts in Yolo County."
Eighteen of the 20 people who started the academy finished it.
Next year's class is tentatively scheduled to begin in February and end in November.