Cook County Farm Bureau, University of Illinois Extension and Illinois Farm Bureau will present a workshop entitled "Farming Fundamentals" on Saturday, June 11, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Cook County Farm Bureau building in Countryside.

"The workshop is intended for those who may be thinking about establishing a farming business," said Extension Educator Ellen Phillips. "The program is designed to provide the essential base for someone who wants to begin producing food or fiber for direct marketing in an urban environment."

Topics that will be covered during the workshop will include:

-  Key elements of a successful farm business plan, including what you need to get started: equipment, labor, certification, a plan, access to farmland

- How to find your market: discovering the need; understanding the market; demand and influence; farm stands, farmers' markets and wholesale

- Show me the money: grant proposals for specialty production; sustainable agriculture research grants; grant-writing basics; USDA rural development; Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; agri-financing

"In the afternoon, we'll have breakout sessions on production agriculture, marketing concepts and how to access help," Phillips said.

Speakers at the workshop include U of I Extension educators Ellen Phillips and Maurice Ogutu; greenhouse owner Dan Biernacki; beekeeper Tom Hansen; Kopping Farms owner Gerry Kopping; Illinois Farm Bureau manager of business development Cynthia Haskins; Herman Wisslead from USDA Rural Development; Pat Stieren from Illinois Farmers Market Network; Steve Tiwald from Green Earth Institute and others.

To register online, visit and click on the link to Farming Fundamentals or call 708-354-3276. The cost of the workshop is $10 and includes lunch.

Source: Ellen Phillips, University of Illinois