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Upper Midwest CRAFT Field Days

Every year the Upper Midwest Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) organizes a variety of field days; with topics focusing on the core themes of soils, plants, animals, and people. Field days provide prospective farmers with exposure to the diversity in the region through a workshop series that balances visits to larger and smaller farms, organic, biodynamic and sustainable farms, new and continuing Upper Midwest CRAFT members, and farms throughout our geographic region. Each field day is divided between time on the training topic, the host farm tour, and social time.

Check out the field days for 2017 here!

Past Field Days
I Have Land! Now What? at Grassroots Farm
We learned that after two years of consistently searching for land, Lindsey and her mother Gail found a parcel of 40 acres that they jumped on. The land contained only one wooden barn and a windmill well and a lot of thistle that farmer Lindsey has since tamed.
Sustainable Energy at Inn Serendipity
They have managed to become carbon-negative (as opposed to carbon-neutral). Much of this is achieved through the natural carbon sequestration of photosynthesis on their land, but they also minimize their carbon emissions by means of a variety of renewable energy systems.
Soil Fertility at Sandhill Family Farms and Radical Root Farm
About twenty people were in attendance, and they heard about Sandhill’s fertility program from Jeff Miller before enjoying a potluck lunch and moving on to Radical Root.
Eradicating Weeds with Natural Farm Stand
CRAFT attendees were taken on a tour of the farm on a flatbed trailer pulled by an antique International tractor, stopping periodically to learn how Gary has controlled weeds and pests and improved fertility through the use of large amounts of compost, cover crops, and adaptations to simple manual and mechanical tools.
Tools and Machinery at Springdale Farm
Winter briefly returned with cold winds and snow flurries, but that did not stop fifteen CRAFT farmers from visiting Springdale Farm in Plymouth, WI, to learn about tools and machinery from Peter Seely, our 2014 Mentor Farmer of the Year.
Small Fam Operations Panel Discussion
CRAFT members squeezed into Sheri Doyel’s home at Tiny Tempest Farm in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for the Small Farm Operations Panel Discussion.
Beekeeping Basics at LotFotL Community Farm
CRAFTers were greeted by some exceedingly healthy and jolly-looking pigs (as well as an impressive heap of winter squash). However, it was a few hundred thousand head of LotFotL’s other livestock that was the focus of this beekeeping field day.
Boosting Soils & Fertility at Tipi Produce
Over twenty CRAFT members took a break from their fall cleanup chores to enjoy a wonderful potluck lunch and learn about soil fertility at Tipi Produce outside of Evansville, WI.
Quality Control: Postharvest Handling at Green Earth Institute
Steve Tiwald and Farm Manager Duncan Simonson led the group through each step of postharvest handling. Duncan is a wealth of knowledge on the subject since he handles these steps daily with both volunteers and crew members. He discussed how to handle specific veggies like delicate lettuces and greens, tougher root crops in the barrel washer, and even curing onions.
Reviving Your Soil with Cover Crops at Breslin Farms
Twelve CRAFT members traveled along miles of wind-damaged cornfields to convene at Breslin Farms to learn about how the Breslins incorporate cover crops into their rotations.
Integrating Livestock into Vegetable Operations at Sandhill Family Farms and Grassroots Farm
At this double header field day attendees learned from two very different farms how they've integrated animals into their vegetable operations.
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Certification at Montalbano Farms
CRAFT members gathered at Montalbano Farms to get a detailed look into Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification.
Equus Oaks Farm: Farming with Horses
Nestled in-between subdivisions, highways, and strip malls is the farm home of Lane Linnenkohl’s two Percheron draft horses: Molly and Sally and two Morgans: Daisy and Violet.
Animal Processing at Eickman's Processing and Pasture Management at Irish Grove Farms
We had an amazing field day focused on animal processing and pasture management that took place at two locations, Eickman's Processing facility and Irish Grove Farms.
Those Pesky Weeds at Trogg's Hollow and Angelic Organics
By featuring trainings from two CRAFT farmers and tours of their operations—one a beginning farmer and the other with decades of experience—attendees were able to see a progression of farm scale and capacity through which the topic of weed management was developed.