FFA/4H programs for adults?

Oncoming Storm

Songster
Jun 3, 2019
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If you can’t quite afford a college course right now your best teacher is experience. I understand you don’t live in a rural area but there’s gotta be a farm around there somewhere. I learned almost everything I know about horses from my trainer from just spending days out there working with her. Now with chickens We just kinda spontaneously did the buying and same with the pigs. But if you really want to start a farm, which I highly recommend especially if you’re like me and prefer the company of animals to people, I’d say find someone local, preferably a small business or something similar and either try and work there or just try and talk to them. You can also find books about pretty much anything. There will be struggles and failures especially with chickens and such. But it’s so worth it to get up in the morning crack open an egg that you collected and sprinkling it with tomatoes you plucked from your garden and make the best breakfast all from your little farm. I wish you the best of luck with your future!
 

FowlWitch

Songster
Jun 11, 2019
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California
If you can’t quite afford a college course right now your best teacher is experience. I understand you don’t live in a rural area but there’s gotta be a farm around there somewhere. I learned almost everything I know about horses from my trainer from just spending days out there working with her. Now with chickens We just kinda spontaneously did the buying and same with the pigs. But if you really want to start a farm, which I highly recommend especially if you’re like me and prefer the company of animals to people, I’d say find someone local, preferably a small business or something similar and either try and work there or just try and talk to them. You can also find books about pretty much anything. There will be struggles and failures especially with chickens and such. But it’s so worth it to get up in the morning crack open an egg that you collected and sprinkling it with tomatoes you plucked from your garden and make the best breakfast all from your little farm. I wish you the best of luck with your future!
I used to work at a cactus nursery but got laid off ToT But I can grow cacti like it's nobody's business lol crops are an entirely different beast. I've been trying to grow stuff recently, so we'll see how it all comes out. Last year the damn squirrels and chipmunks at all over my seedling watermelons and corn, but I have a net up, and so far none of my plants have been poached yet! I really could use a flatter plot of land without so many trees and rocks, though. That's just mountain living for you, I suppose. I'm aiming to move down into the desert, though, so I'll see what happens
 

gtaus

Crowing
Mar 29, 2019
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… I mostly just wanted to join a club lol...
Right. I would suggest looking into those free YouTube videos provided by people who are homesteading. There are probably free community forums for people homesteading, much like the BYC forums are great for those of us interested in raising a backyard flock of chickens.

I would like to start a farm one day but I don't know where to learn. Are there farming programs available for adults?
One of the main YouTubers on commercial small farming is Joel Salatin. A number of people have referenced his books on small farming. They don't cost much on Amazon, but you might be able to get them at a local library or inter-library loan for free. Check out his free YouTube videos and see if that is what interests you.
 

FowlWitch

Songster
Jun 11, 2019
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California
Right. I would suggest looking into those free YouTube videos provided by people who are homesteading. There are probably free community forums for people homesteading, much like the BYC forums are great for those of us interested in raising a backyard flock of chickens.



One of the main YouTubers on commercial small farming is Joel Salatin. A number of people have referenced his books on small farming. They don't cost much on Amazon, but you might be able to get them at a local library or inter-library loan for free. Check out his free YouTube videos and see if that is what interests you.
Thank you :) Youtube can't quite replace the social component, but I at least have a place to start learning. I'll see about picking some books up this payday
 

ShannonR

Crowing
Sep 17, 2015
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I live close to Lake Arrowhead, so I have Cal State San Bernardino and UCR pretty close by. I also have Riverside Community College (which is a horrible school) and San Bernardino Valley College, which is a decent community college
I do see what you mean now. That's pretty far south. Merced has a decent program, their community colleges are OK. Too far north, tho. Inland from you is desert, yea? I would suggest looking east but in your case that may be a no-go. Most the good farming classes aren't taught online, because you wouldn't get the hands on experience.

If you DO find something affordable (which might be hard) the textbooks are often on loan from the school library. I've had to go that route before. Currently I am taking a class I was able to download a free ebook for-- yay!! I still have my book from intro to animal science I would give away to a student in need.

So in your case, you might try volunteering as an intern at a local farm or something possibly. Lots of folks would love help butchering chickens or hogs, trimming hooves, that sort of thing. The liability issue can be a drawback for many farmers, so that would have to be addressed. But for my own part, I would welcome some good reliable farm help. These kiddos just take up too much of my time nowadays. Fences need fixing, goats need catching and vaccinated, the hay and firewood and toolsheds need rebuilt after the wildfire...all of that fun stuff that is on my to do list but I haven't done yet.... And the chickens. Dozens of feral chickens that badly need downsizing. Got half a dozen chickens last summer after mine were reduced to roasts because I couldn't evacuate them and they have multiplied into way too many chickens.

I had some friends come help with processing the meat birds this year and made sort of a class of it. A few birds didn't get plucked as cleanly as I do myself, and I had to double check afterwards for crops and missed internal pieces, but the assistance was enormously helpful. I have no complaints!
 
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ShannonR

Crowing
Sep 17, 2015
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I don't think I can do much with a BA in Farming anyways. I mostly just wanted to join a club lol I don't mind taking a community college course if it's affordable enough, but these days I've even priced out of those due to how expensive textbooks are. You can't even get used books like I did in 2010 when I first started going to school because now everything has a forced online component that comes with exorbitant fees. All the college suggestions I'm getting aren't hitting the mark for me tbh
Oh, and don't go for a B.A. That is 4 years of schooling and more than half the classes are useless for what you are wanting to learn. Ask me how I know.... ugh, I have to take some really dumb classes for my transfer credits! I was thinking one or two individual classes that are to the point and address only what you want to know. A UC college is very expensive, but the community colleges tend to be much more affordable.
 

FowlWitch

Songster
Jun 11, 2019
550
735
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California
Oh, and don't go for a B.A. That is 4 years of schooling and more than half the classes are useless for what you are wanting to learn. Ask me how I know.... ugh, I have to take some really dumb classes for my transfer credits! I was thinking one or two individual classes that are to the point and address only what you want to know. A UC college is very expensive, but the community colleges tend to be much more affordable.
This job market is rough. The only degrees worth anything are really boring, too. I'm a nature person, I don't want to work in IT or the medical field lol I was about to start school for Veterinary technician, but I guess I'm too squeamish :confused: I should become an arborist lol
 

trumpeting_angel

Free Ranging
Feb 6, 2019
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Vermont
+1 for anything by Joel Salatin. He has written some great books on farming and is well-respected. I enjoy Justin Rhodes’s free videos but he seems to use a bit more hype which makes me wonder about how realistic his suggestions might be.
 

gtaus

Crowing
Mar 29, 2019
1,687
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377
Northern Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
+1 for anything by Joel Salatin. He has written some great books on farming and is well-respected. I enjoy Justin Rhodes’s free videos but he seems to use a bit more hype which makes me wonder about how realistic his suggestions might be.
I, too, enjoy the videos by Justin Rhodes. A lot of his practice seems to be based on concepts put forward by others, like Joel Salatin. What I really like is that Justin Rhodes gives credit for his practice to those whose ideas he is using. So you can go back to the source, like Joel Salatin, if that concept looks interesting to you.
 

FowlWitch

Songster
Jun 11, 2019
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735
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California
So I was looking into how to become an arborist, and the career site I found said you could so it with a BA in Horticulture. CSU offers that degree online, but it'll be $57,000 ;_; I have no clue if that's worth doing or not? There should be scholarships, but I've never been able to get any of the scholarships I've applied for in the past. Not sure if I should go for it or not - my mom thinks I might be okay. She thinks I'm young enough that the debt shouldn't hurt me too much?? I don't think 27 is that young lol
 
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