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Partner Organizations & Training Programs

Michael Fields Agricultural InstituteStella Gardens at MFAI - Photo by Jess Clancy, Stella Gardens Intern 2008

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI) conducts production, research, demonstration, and education projects on land adjacent to the Institute. This includes the several acres of certified organic vegetables, flowers, herbs, and perennial fruit trees, shrubs and brambles, known as Stella Gardens. Whole Farm Workshops are offered throughout the year to enhance and expand farmers' skill sets of all levels. A number of scholarships are available. Contact by email.

The Liberty Prairie Foundation’s Farm Business Development Center at Prairie Crossing

The Farm Business Development Center (FBDC) at the Prairie Crossing Farm in Grayslake prepares beginning farmers to meet the demand for locally-grown organic food in the Chicago region. The FBDC provides new farmers with a head start by beginning their business in an incubator setting with affordable access to certified organic land near the Chicago-area customer base, and access to experienced mentor farmers. Demand is high for locally-grown organic food, and the Farm Business Development Center is successfully launching new farm businesses to meet consumer demand. Contact:

Routes to Farm

Routes to Farm (R2F) is a collaboration of Farmer Alliances in the regional “foodshed” of greater Chicago dedicated to training the emerging generation of local and sustainable farmers. R2F makes resources available to farmers who are launching or growing their farm businesses for the local and sustainable food and farm economy. Their goals are to help farmers network and find on-farm experience, develop farmer alliances, and strengthen food systems. Read more about their farmer alliances and find your route today! Contact: