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Washington State University

Sustainable Small Farming and Ranching

Program Contact: Kate Ryan, Agriculture Program Coordinator
(425) 357-6024 •
There 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 Snohomish County Extension, Snohomish Conservation District, and Snohomish County Farm Bureau, 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 to a wealth of resources on a broad variety of ag-related topics, students will also receive a copy of Market Farm Success by Lynn Byczynski


Tuesday evenings, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Sept. 21 thru Dec. 7, 2021


Online via Zoom. Option for Saturday field trip(s) (King, Snohomish, and/or Skagit area) depending on social distancing requirements at the time.


$200 per farm/family


Class size is limited and pre-paid registration is required. Visit (website) to register online or download/print this brochure (pdf) and mail with your check.

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

Other courses in the Cultivating Success series

Agricultural Entrepreneurship (website)

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


Much of the strength of the Cultivating Success program lies with the network of experts, farmers, organizations, and others that provide students with the expertise, real-world examples, and resources necessary to develop a successful farm operation.

We are fortunate to have these individuals helping facilitate the courses:

Bobbi Lindemulder, cattle rancher and District Operations Program Manager for the Snohomish Conservation District

Kate Ryan, grower and Agriculture Program Coordinator for WSU Snohomish County Extension