Tennessee farmers and agri-entrepreneurs interested in learning more about community supported agriculture (CSA) ventures are invited to attend a classroom on wheels.

“The opportunity to visit existing CSA’s, meet the producers and see what they’ve done to make their farm enterprise successful is one of the best ways for farmers to learn how to improve and possibly expand their own businesses,” says Amy Ladd, a marketing expert with the University of Tennessee Center for Profitable Agriculture. “Operators asked us to develop an educational tour, and we are able to make it happen thanks to the USDA grant awarded to the Center to fund GROW-10.”

GROW-10 is a two-year educational program to assist farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs in the evaluation, planning and development of value-added enterprises. Ladd coordinates the program for CPA.

The “Focus on Community Supported Agriculture Educational Tour” will be held Sept. 8, 2009. The tour will start and end in Spring Hill at the UT Middle Tennessee Research and Education Center. The half-day tour will make stops at Delvin Farms and Rocky Glade Farm.

Because space is limited, early registration is advised. Participation requests will be processed on a first come, first served basis. There is no cost to participate and lunch at Hatchers Family Dairy will be provided to all attendees. Farmers and agri-entrepreneurs who are currently considering or already involved in a community supported agriculture venture are eligible to participate.

Tour information and registration is available by contacting Ladd at the Center for Profitable Agriculture at 931-486-2777 or by e-mail at aladd4@tennessee.edu.

The Center for Profitable Agriculture is a partnership of University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture and the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation. It operates as a department of UT Extension, which offers off-campus education and outreach for the UT Institute of Agriculture.

Through UT Extension, the Institute brings research-based information about agriculture, family and consumer sciences, and resource development to the people of Tennessee where they live and work.