Linda Geist

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension invites anyone interested in learning to farm to attend an eight-session program, Grow Your Farm, offered by MU Extension in Jackson County.

The program also offers two farm tours. Sessions begin Feb. 28 and end April 18. All sessions run 6-9 p.m. at the MU Extension center at 105 E. Fifth St. in the Kansas City River Market.

MU Extension specialist Jeff Samborski says the practical seminars and field days give attendees opportunities to learn and network. MU Extension specialists and farm agency representatives lead the sessions. Topics include goal identification and creation, walking the farm, opportunities, planning, marketing, finances, and legal issues. Farmers share their experiences in the final session.

Register by Feb. 23. The fee includes seminar materials, speakers and light refreshments.

For more information, contact Samborski at 816-471-1351 or, or contact MU Extension in Jackson County at 816-252-5051.

MU Extension, through a grant from the USDA Office of Advocacy and Outreach to help veterans, Hmong and socially disadvantaged persons who want to farm, offers the program to increase agribusinesses and enterprise development. Karen Funkenbusch serves as director.

The USDA Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (2501 program) helps beginning farmers and others evaluate and plan their farm enterprise. Participants attend a set of practical seminars and field days to learn from MU specialists, farmers and agribusiness operators. The USDA grant comes at a critical time, Funkenbusch says. More than 300,000 veterans are expected to return to their rural Missouri roots in the next decade. “Many of them will seek work in agriculture,” she says.” Veterans and women represent the fastest-growing populations of new beginning farm operators.

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