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WSU Extension offers business planning and dairy courses


Washington State University Extension will offer several courses in business planning and in dairy starting Dec. 14.



* The Agri-preneur Business Planning Program is a 60-hour course designed to help new and established food, farm and fish businesses reach their financial goals. Participants will learn sound business planning concepts and tools tailored specifically to small-farm and food-producing entrepreneurs.



An online information session -- at http://bit.ly/UaKLCa -- offers details of what to expect.



The second step is to attend a two-day business readiness workshop from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 14-15 in Olympia, where trainers and guest experts will describe what is required to move a businesses forward and discuss regulations, risks and costs, plus the rewards, commitment and hard work necessary to succeed.



Beginning in January, the business planning program, presented in partnership with Enterprise for Equity, covers the main areas of business planning, including marketing, pricing, competition, financing and bookkeeping. At the end of the training, participants will have created a business plan for their small enterprise.



* Another business course, Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Business Planning, will run Jan. 16-March 20. WSU Clark County Extension will present the 10-week course to help new and existing farmers gain skills in business planning and direct marketing.



Registration must be completed by Jan. 14 by calling Eric Lambert at 360-397-6060 ext. 5729. Class size is limited to the first 30 to register.



* Basic-Plus, a three-day course for enthusiasts and beginners serious about pursuing cheese making as a business at the farmstead or artisan level, will be offered in Chehalis Feb. 19-21. It includes hands-on activities and a field trip to local cheese plants.



The course is co-sponsored by Dairy Connection Inc., Wesmar Chemical, Northwest Ag Business Center and Lewis County Extension.



Information and registration: http://bit.ly/wsu-cheesecourses



* The Advanced Cheese Making course, for experienced cheese makers and personnel from commercial and industrial plants, will be in Pullman March 5-7.



Instruction will be provided by leaders in the dairy production community, and hands-on cheese making at the WSU Creamery will be included. The basic class or cheese making experience are recommended prerequisites.



Co-sponsors include Chr. Hansen, DuPont Nutrition and Health and DSM.



Information and registration: http://bit.ly/wsu-cheesecourses



* A two-day Pasteurization Workshop, for plant operators, maintenance personnel, quality personnel and management and suppliers to the industry, will be in Pullman April 3-4. It covers vat and basic high-temperature, short-time pasteurization systems; magnetic flow timed systems; systems with auxiliary equipment; and hands-on activities at the WSU Creamery.



Co-sponsors are the Washington Association for Food Protection, Washington State Department of Agriculture and the FDA.



Information and registration: http://bit.ly/wsu-cheesecourses



-- Steve Brown



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