Sustainable Small Farming and Ranching

Program Contact: Kate Ryan, Agriculture Program Coordinator
(425) 375-6024 •

Chinook-Farms-CSA-Opening-Day-139-croppedThere are now five million fewer farms in the U.S. than there were in the 1930s and of those remaining, almost 40 percent of the farmers are at least 55 years old. Without new farmers to replace them, the future of U.S. farming is not at all certain. While interest in small acreage farming and ranching increases each season, many of these new farmers have few opportunities to gain the skills needed for success.

The award-winning Cultivating Success series of courses were developed to help fill that need, and make the connection between farmers new and old.

First in the series, the 12-week course Sustainable Small-Acreage Farming and Ranching helps participants explore the unique advantages available to the small farm and ranch owner. Sponsored by WSU King County Extension, King County, and King Conservation District, the course gives participants a broad overview of production and marketing options for today’s small farm. Whether you are just exploring the opportunities available or already have an existing operation, you’ll learn what it takes to create, sustain, and grow a viable small farm enterprise.

Weekly presentations include local growers, organizations, and university specialists with expertise in direct marketing, value-added processing, production planning, agronomy, livestock production, and more. In addition, there will be a Saturday field trip to nearby farms to learn about different styles of successful small farm enterprises.


Monday evenings, 5:30-8:30pm, Sept. 19 through Dec. 5, 2016 plus all day Sat. Oct. 1.


Carnation Farm’s Alpine Room
28901 NE Carnation Farm Road
Carnation, WA 98014


$300 per farm/family (up to three people)


Class size is limited and pre-paid registration is required. Register online at or download this form and mail with your check.

New!!—You may be able to use AmeriCorps Awards to help pay registration costs. Please check with your award administrator for details on how to apply. For questions on using AmeriCorps Awards for WSU Extension’s Cultivating Success courses, contact Kevin Wright, WSU King County Extension Director, (206) 263-1917,

For more information on the course, contact Holly Small, or Kate Ryan,, (425) 357-6024.

Other courses in the Cultivating Success series

Agricultural Entrepreneurship

Farm Recordkeeping for Productivity and Profitability

Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local Extension office or to the WSU Center for Human Rights. Reasonable accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities and special needs who contact Karie Christensen at (425) 357-6012 or at least two weeks prior to the event.

Who should take the course?

Current and future small- to mid-scale farmers and ranchers and those considering farming as a career and/or lifestyle.

Learn how West Valley Beef ranchers Chuck and Bobbi Lindemulder came to be supporters of Cultivating Success.

Chuck and Bobbi Lindemulder
Chuck and Bobbi Lindemulder of West Valley Beef Duvall, WA


Holly ThompsonAgriculture teacher and small farmer Holly Small has been leading, developing, and expanding our Cultivating Success courses since 2009 to excellent reviews.

During that time she’s become a go-to authority for local farms and farmers looking to expand opportunities and production while developing a long-term sustainable operation.

A WSU graduate in animal science and agriculture economics with an MS in agriculture education, Small has worked for Northwest Farm Credit Services as a loan officer and the Nestle Regional Training Center at Carnation Farm as Public Relations & Conference Center Manager.

Course Sponsors

Kingco KCD logo color


Washington State University