A team from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is offering a two-day program, The Business of Farming Workshop, for entrepreneurs looking to build an agricultural business. Limited bilingual assistance for Spanish-speaking attendees will be available.
This two-day workshop is scheduled for April 27 and May 4, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at multiple locations and offers online and in-person formats. UF/IFAS agriculture experts will provide resources and step-by-step strategies for participants to build a business plan.
At the end of the program, participants will have worked through six topic areas, including developing a company description, a robust marketing plan, an operational plan, a human resource plan, a financial plan and a solid executive summary. The program will also provide support for Spanish-speaking audiences.
The cost is $25 for the duration of the workshop. Registration is required online. Participants who register for the online format will receive a Zoom link closer to the workshop date.
Participants interested in attending in person can choose from these locations:
- UF/IFAS Extension Polk County, 1701 S. Holland Parkway, Bartow, FL 33830.
- UF/IFAS Tropical Research and Education Center at 18905 SW 280th St., Homestead, FL 33031
For more information on the workshop, call 863-519-1049 for the program in Bartow or 786-217-9248 for the program in Homestead.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, consumer preferences for food products have evolved, and there is now a growing demand for locally, sustainably produced goods, organic or otherwise, that are of the highest quality, said Trent Blare, an assistant professor in food and resource economics at the UF/IFAS Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead and workshop speaker.
Meanwhile, there is growing evidence that agriculture entrepreneurs are becoming more interested in small-scale farming to meet consumer demands. To make it in today’s competitive market, those new to the industry need the right marketing tactics and a strong business plan, the keys to building a business from the ground up.
A 2015 USDA Economic Research Service report estimated the number of farmers’ markets increased by 180% between 2007 and 2014 and the number of regional food hubs increased by more than 288%, said Blare.
In 2020, US farmers made $9 billion in direct food sales, an increase of 3% from 2015. Direct food sales in the Southeast accounted for just 7% of these sales or $609 million. Florida was the only state in the Southeast that made it to the top 10 of direct food sales with $247 million, 41% of the region’s total, according to a 2022 USDA report.
The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS brings science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents.