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New Wine Business and Entrepreneurship Certificate Available at VESTA Online

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Guest Author: Joanne Davidhizar, Michigan State University Extension and MSU Product Center
Foster Swift Agricultural Law Update
April 22, 2014

Many individuals are interested in entering Michigan’s expanding grape and wine industry, but lack the knowledge or skills to get started. The Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA) has aided hundreds of individuals through easy educational access to basic and advanced resources for new and established grape growers or wine makers.

Many VESTA enrollees were found to be utilizing their knowledge to start new businesses. Hence, the new VESTA wine business and entrepreneurship program was developed to further meet the identified need. The wine business and entrepreneurship track offers courses in business planning, finance, safety, legal aspects of wineries, marketing, equipment, winery design and human resources. This program joins the established viticulture and enology certificates.

VESTA, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, in partnership with the Michigan State University Institute of Agriculture Technology and colleges and universities in 17 other states throughout the United States offers online credit courses, workshops and mentoring to people looking to enter the grape industry or further their skills through professional development. Participants may seek a VESTA certificate, a community college associates degree or a Michigan State University Institute of Agriculture Certificate in Viticulture through its off-campus programs in southwest and northwest Michigan.

To obtain information about VESTA and off-campus MSU IAT Applied Plant Science certificate programs and admission requirements, visit the MSU Institute of Agriculture Technology or call 517-355-0190. Lake Michigan College-based Coordinator, Stacey Rocklin, may be reached at 269-927-8772 or rocklin@msu.edu, Northwestern Michigan College-based Coordinator, Brian Matchett at 231-995-1719 or matchet4@msu.edu, and MSU Campus-based Tom Smith at 517-353-4822 or smitht48@anr.msu.edu.