Northern Michigan Events: Taste the Local Difference, a Michigan Land Use Institute endeavor, brings a series of workshops led by local foods and farming specialists to Northern Michigan designed to acquaint the public with the basics of farming as a business. Most of the workshops are free, making them a perfect learning experience for new buisness owners and the merely interested.

The Business of Farming: Business Basics

November 8, 2012; 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Why do want to start a farm or food business? What do need to know early in process? Is a business plan really that important? This introduction to business concepts will help you find out what you know and more importantly, what you think you know but really don’t. This is a free workshop led by Wendy Wieland, MSU Product Center Innovation Counselor, MSUE Community Food Systems Specialist. NMC Aero Park Campus, Parsons-Stulen Building 2600 Aero Park Dr, Traverse City (Room 222).

The Business of Farming: Keeping the Books

November 12, 2012; 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

For many farmers and other entrepreneurs, bookkeeping is low on scales of interest and aptitude. Yet keeping the books is necessary for two important reasons: 1) To keep track of your income and expenses, which improves your chances of making a profit; and 2) To collect the financial information necessary for filing tax returns. Learn down to earth bookkeeping practices from a farmer. This is a free workshop. NMC Aero Park Campus, Parsons-Stulen Building, 2600 Aero Park Dr, Traverse City (Room 222).

The Business of Farming: QuickBooks Basics

November 13, 2012, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

A companion workshop to Keeping the Books, this workshop provides a basic understanding of this most popular of bookkeeping software products. This is a free workshop. Presenter for Keeping the Books and QuickBook Basics: Stuart Kunkle, a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, a member of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, and keeps the books for Cherry Capital Foods and his own Bricolage Farm. NMC Aero Park Campus, Parsons-Stulen Building 2600 Aero Park Dr, Traverse City (Room 222).

The Business of Farming: Hoophouse Management

November 30, 10:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.

Grow fresh vegetables year-round in northwest Michigan! Using hoophouses for cold-weather harvests makes lots of sense if you are interested in extending your growing season or creating a more controlled growing environment. Learn how these low-cost structures can provide winter income and help you meet the growing demand for fresh, local produce year-round. A hoophouse tour will be part of the program. $20 or $25 for two from the same farm includes lunch from Pond Hill’s Garden Café. Presenters: Jimmy Spencer, Pond Hill Farm, Larry Dyer and Nic Welty, 9 Bean Rows Farm.  Pond Hill Farm, 5581 S. Lake Shore Drive, Harbor Springs.

For more details on any of these sessions visit the Michigan Land Use Institute website or contact Jim Sluyter, 231-889-0199.

Find more Northern Michigan events on the Events Calendar!