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AgSouth is partnering with AgGeorgia Farm Credit to bring the AGAware program to Young, Beginning and Small Farmers in Georgia this summer through a series of workshops aimed at educating them in the many aspects of running a successful agricultural operation.

The national award-winning AGAware program was created “to help ensure that future farmers will be prepared and strong financially so they may continue doing what it is they love,” said AgSouth Farm Credit Director of Marketing Christy Smith, who is also the co-creator of AGAware.

“It’s been Farm Credit’s mission for more than 100 years to serve farmers and rural America,” Smith said. “One of the ways of making sure there are farmers to serve is by educating the next generation of farmers and by helping bring awareness of what farmers actually do to put food on the tables to the public. We do that through community awareness events as another part of the AGAware program.”

Young farmers are defined as those 35 years of age or younger. Beginning farmers are defined as those having 10 years or less of experience. Small farmers are defined as those having annual gross agricultural sales of $250,000 or less. Since the AGAware program was established in 2013, more than 800 farmers in Georgia and South Carolina have taken the classes and graduated from the program.

Topics of the program include: balance sheets, income statements, family finance and family budgeting, risk management, accrual income, applying for financing, preparing a business plan, technology and record keeping, and marketing assistance available through the Department of Agriculture, FSA/SBA and other programs.

Applications for scholarships for future education through Farm Credit University will be available to graduates of these workshops as well. AGAware is also certified for FSA Direct Borrower Training Credit.

The training is open to anyone who wishes to develop a better understanding of how to run a successful agricultural operation.

All classes will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a free lunch will be provided. Workshops are planned at the following locations:

  • Friday, July 26, Charleston, S.C. USDA-ARS Vegetable Lab, 2700 Savannah Highway.
  • Friday, Aug. 2, Tifton, Ga.  UGA Conference Center-Tifton Campus, 15 RDC Road.
  • Friday, Aug. 16, Milledgeville, Ga. Central Georgia Technical College Conference Center, 54 Highway 22 W.
  • Friday, Aug. 23, Statesboro, Ga. AgSouth Farm Credit, 40 S. Main St.

To register online for the Statesboro event, visit AgSouth’s website. To register online for the Tifton or Milledgeville event, visit AgGeorgia’s website.

For more information about AGAware, contact Christy Smith at CSmith@AgSouthFC.com or 912-764-9091.

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