Emerging Maine Sheep Entrepreneurs - Goals, Milestones & Methodology
By the end of a 30-month period, a minimum of 10 new sheep entrepreneurial couples (20 individuals) in Maine will gain practical knowledge and skills that will positively influence their success in the sheep business. Each participant will develop and/or expand their sheep enterprise as a sound business with documented proof of a written business plan, a marketing plan, sheep production records, and financial records for their sheep enterprise.
- At least 200 sheep producers in Maine will learn about the educational program for Emerging Sheep Entrepreneurs with a majority of these responding to a survey determining availability and interest.
- Individuals representing at least 25 sheep operations will attend an informational session on the multi-year project. At least 10 farms will agree to participate in the education program and commit to complete the 30-month program.
- All participants will complete a needs assessment to identify and prioritize specific educational needs. A customized plan to reach those needs will be developed.
- Participants will complete a benchmark card identifying their starting point for the project. They will self-identify and monitor their skill and knowledge levels in sheep production and marketing using an established checklist.
- Participants will actively take part in and complete the 30-month program that will include classroom workshops, webinars, discussion groups, learning tours and self study.
The methods to be used to equip participating individuals and couples with knowledge and skills will include classroom instruction, webinars, online courses, discussion groups, educational tours, hands-on activities, and self study.
A survey will be used to identify and assess needs of each participant at the start of each year. At least six (6) educational programs will be developed and presented for project participants per year.
At the start of the project, each participant will identify, develop, and document their individual goals for themselves and their sheep enterprise.