Published on 02/21/19

Small producers can harvest business insights from UGA-led workshop

By Merritt Melancon

With spring right around the corner, many small growers are getting ready for this year’s farmer’s market and consumer-supported agriculture (CSA) season.

Sustainable agriculture experts at the University of Georgia are offering a two-day intensive workshop to help small growers make the most of the upcoming season and build their farms into strong, productive businesses.

The workshop, to be held March 23 and 24 in Athens, Georgia, will offer the latest information on sustainable weed and pest control, but will focus heavily on business planning and marketing.

“This program is geared for the beginning and intermediate grower,” said organizer George Boyhan, a professor of horticulture in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES). “Beginners will learn about starting a business, as well as the basics of growing organically. This will include information on certification. Intermediate growers will be able to round out their skills and gain some field experience with experts in their fields.”

Growers will have access to UGA farm-business development experts and hear from experienced growers who have turned their farms into successful businesses. In addition, a grocery buyer from Whole Foods will be available to answer questions about how to market to the chain.

Instructors will also lead growers through a cost-benefit analysis of whether they should pursue USDA Organic Certification.

The workshop will be held at UGArden and the surrounding greenhouse complex on South Milledge Avenue. Classes run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

Preregistration is required, and space is limited. The early registration deadline is March 8. The registration fee is $150 and includes all instructional materials, supplies, lunches and snacks during breaks.

Registration details, complete agenda and list of speakers can be found at

To register after the deadline or for additional information, contact Boyhan at (706) 231-4137 or

Merritt Melancon is a public relations manager with UGA's Terry College of Business and previously served as a public relations coordinator for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Extension.

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