We finished our last small farm college class last night. Now we know everything there is to know about owning and running a small farm, right?! In reality, now we know how absolutely clueless we are about owning and running a small farm. We have as many or more questions than we had before we started class. What we do have in our favor now is a starting point and a notebook full of resources.
We started this process with a dream of a farm in September of 2010. By December 2010 we had chosen the farm and registered for small farm college. We closed on the farm on January 11, 2011 and began small farm college the following week. Our first week of small farm college let us know how little we knew. Since then we've learned about soil, livestock and crops. We've heard various experts talk about conservation, ecology, botany and biology. We've learned a little bit about the law, best management practices and marketing.
To date we have the beginning of a farm business plan. We have a boatload full of ideas to research. We have a list of names for people that may be able to help us. We have plenty to do. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that graduation from small farm college is just like any other graduation. Graduation signals the beginning of something new just as boldly as it marks the end of something old.
So, as we embark on life as small farm college graduates I'd like to thank everyone at the OSU Extension who made this possible. I'd like to also remind myself and other that knowledge is power. While I've come out of this program with lots of knowledge I also have the confidence that I am powerful enough to make this work and, if I can do this, anyone can.