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Farmer Training Initiative

Incubator/Co-op Farming CRAFT Field Day at Fondy Farm Project

Farmer Training Initiative

Sustainable farms can provide farm families with a good quality of life; protect our land, air, and water; and support the local economy. Yet in the US, farmers over 65 outnumber those under 35 by 3-to-1. More than 400 million acres of farmland will change hands in the next twenty years. Will it be farmed? Where will the next generation of farmers come from? How will they find the support needed to succeed?

The purpose of the Farmer Training Initiative (FTI), and our answer to those questions, is to support and serve beginning farmers, transitioning farmers, and limited resource farmers through a multi-year program of training in production and business planning. Our commitment is to work with small-scale, low-input growers who wish to become sustainable agriculture growers for our local food system. FTI also makes connections with other individuals and organizations to help facilitate linkages for CRAFT participants in the areas of land acquisition, start-up capital, and markets. Our organizational role with CRAFT farmer alliances nationwide is to promote the development of other farmer-to-farmer training programs, which sets us apart from other organizations.

Our commitment to CRAFT and Stateline Farm Beginnings® is to host workshop Field Days and connect prospective farmers to experienced farmers each season. We stand out through our commitment to facilitate farmer-to-farmer experiential education. Our standards of performance are measured by the number of farmers we help to successfully enter or transition into sustainable agriculture production and the linkages we are able to make in the areas of land acquisition, start-up capital, and markets. We know we have succeeded when the number of local food farmers and supply of local food increases.

Stateline Farm Beginnings®
A one year training course. Stateline Farm Beginnings® is a farmer-led training and support program designed to help people plan and launch sustainable farm businesses.
CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training)
Join CRAFT now! CRAFT welcomes trainees with all levels of experience. The alliance has become one of the leading efforts to train the next generation of organic, biodynamic, and sustainable farmers. Graduates, who now lead dozens of new local farms, are trained by some of the most accomplished farmers in the Midwest.