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Stateline Farm Beginnings

Stateline Farm Beginnings is a course designed to help launch or expand your farm business. Students learn sustainable farming practices used on real farms, develop a tailor-made farming/business plan, and begin to view the farm as an interconnected system. Students also gain knowledge from some of the most innovative farmers and experts in the Midwest while creating lifelong friendships within a new farming network. Stateline Farm Beginning also offers opportunities to access land and equipment.

Stateline Farm Beginnings attracts both rural and urban participants from Chicago, Rockford, Milwaukee, Madison - and everywhere in between. We also encourage veterans to apply! Our graduates have launched more than 55 new sustainable farms (read Graduate Profiles) since 2005. Stateline Farm Beginnings is part of the Farm Beginnings Collaborative. The Farm Beginnings model is emerging as the most effective way to increase the number of beginning farmers building food and farm economies that are green, fair, and healthy. Farm Beginnings is approved as an educational provider through the Farm Service Agency (FSA). Completion of this course fulfills the educational requirements for FSA loan applicants.

Stateline Farm Beginnings has three main components:

  • Winter Course Sessions (October to March) focused on goal-setting, planning for profit, marketing & pricing strategies, and developing a business plan. 
  • Field Day Workshops (January to October) hosted at sustainable farms in northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and the Chicagoland area.
  • One-On-One Mentorships (April to September) carefully match students with a successful sustainable farmer in their field of interest. Arrangements are flexible, taking location, employment and family into account. Students may be paid, depending on the agreement between mentor and mentee

For more info, call 815-389-8455 or send us an 
emailNot ready to start a farm business? Consider joining Upper Midwest CRAFT, our farmer training alliance of nearly 200 members!