June 2, 2023

“Leave everything and go to the village!” – any city dweller must have thought about this at least once. But not everyone decides to change their life so abruptly. Elena Fomina from the Irkutsk region succeeded. For almost 15 years, the Siberian woman worked as a civil servant, until she realized that most of all she wants to live on earth and do her own thing.

Today, Elena is the owner of a cheese factory and the hostess of a cozy hotel in which rural life is recreated. The woman conducts master classes where she teaches guests how to cook dairy products, talks about the basics of beekeeping and shows how to collect wild plants.

The Farmer’s School helped Elena to believe in herself, learn how to run a household and find money for her agricultural start-up. Since 2020, the educational project of Rosselkhozbank JSC has been providing free education to residents of regions who dream of gaining professional knowledge and starting a business in agriculture. Classes are conducted by teachers of the leading agricultural universities of the country. The project received support from the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation.

“I used to believe my intuition, I always noticed how desire can change events and help the implementation of plans. I just thought about professional cheese making and just got into the next set of the Farmer’s School. During the training, I drew up a business plan and received a grant for its implementation. It is important that the training gave me great self-confidence”, – tells Elena.

Recently, the seventh stream of training has started at the Farmer’s School. More than 700 people signed up for classes in 24 regions of Russia. They will study 19 specializations that are in demand today in agriculture. Since this year, two new disciplines have appeared in the list of areas: floriculture in the Oryol region and the production of farm products for the hospitality industry under the conditions of import substitution in the Moscow region.

“We are launching the 7th wave of the Farmer’s School. Now we can say with confidence that we have a successful and effective collaboration. Together with the Ministry of Agriculture, representatives of agribusiness and leading universities, we have given more than 3,000 applicants a free opportunity to learn a new profession or improve their skills. I want to note that not only villagers or already operating farmers go to study. Today, people of completely different professions want to learn a new specialty or open their own agribusiness. Among the students there are representatives of the oil industry and bloggers, engineers and IT specialists. We do not refuse anyone. There is enough space for everyone in the field, – notes Bank Chairman Boris Listov.

The stories of Farmer’s School graduates are real examples of people who were not afraid to follow their dreams. Having received a grant for their business plan, they changed their usual profession to their own business in the countryside. For example, Alexei Ivanov, a graduate of the School of the Farmer from the Republic of Mari El, once harvested two strawberry beds. Thanks to a grant, he expanded the farm to a plantation of 2 hectares.

“We saw that strawberries are popular with the residents of the region, so we began to work for the sale, including delivering them around the city. And now it is bought by wholesalers from neighboring regions. After training, I have a lot of ideas, I want to be engaged not only in growing, but also in processing berries”, – speaks Alexei.

Another graduate of the “School of the Farmer” from an IT girl reincarnated into a poultry farmer. And the former top manager of an oil company founded a dairy farm in the Perm region.


Since 2020, the School of the Farmer has held courses in 56 regions of Russia. More than 3,400 people have completed their studies there and have begun to implement their agricultural business projects.


What professions can be learned at the Farmer’s School?

The seventh stream of study offers courses in the following areas:

1. Production of agricultural products for the restaurant business

2. Rural and agrotourism

3. Greenhouse

4. Crop production

5. Livestock

6. Cheese making

7. Sheep breeding

8. Berry growing

9. Dairy farming

10. Beef cattle breeding

11. Beekeeping

12. Poultry farming

13. Fish farming and aquaculture

14. Floriculture and ornamental plants

15. Gardening

16. Farm organization

17. Vegetable growing

18. Organic farming

19. Production of farm products for the hospitality industry in the context of import substitution

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