Published on 02/07/19

UGA CAES, Extension partner with SBDC to host Farm Business Education Conference

By Clint Thompson

The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Cooperative Extension are partnering with the UGA Small Business Development Center to host a Farm Business Education Conference on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center.

The purpose of the conference is to help farmers learn more about the business aspect of farming. Industry experts will conduct sessions on value-added agricultural ventures and other topics relevant to growers.

“UGA Cooperative Extension is excited to once again be partnering with the UGA Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Each of us brings unique expertise and advice that together will result in better information for our clientele,” said Laura Perry Johnson, associate dean for UGA Extension.

Attendees will learn how to develop a business plan for their farming operation, including plans for effectively passing the business over to the next generation. Agricultural lenders will be on hand to offer tips on how to successfully obtain operating lines, real estate and farm loans and working capital funding. Certified human resource professionals will discuss how to manage employees of farms.

“When you think about farming, people understand there’s a product that’s being produced, but there’s a business side to farming too. Our goal is to assist new and existing farmers in understanding what is required to have a profitable season or assist with understanding new requirements that are coming down. The goal is to help educate on the business side of farming,” said Rob Martin, a business consultant with the UGA SBDC.

Martin, along with Sarah Cook from the Georgia Department of Agriculture, will conduct a session, “From Seed to Shelf,” where they will offer strategies for selling products in local, regional and national markets. Attendees also will have the opportunity to learn about food and production safety with different commodities.

“Each of these partners are part of Public Service and Outreach for the University of Georgia. We come together, pooling our resources; the UGA SBDC as the business side, Extension with their extensive knowledge of the industry and specific products, as well as the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. We will bring that information together to provide opportunities for people to learn,” Martin said.

Conference attendance cost is $49 and includes lunch. The conference will begin at 7:30 a.m. and conclude at 4 p.m. Those interested in attending should preregister at

For more information about UGA Extension, see

Clint Thompson is an agriculture writer based in Tifton, Georgia.

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