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Each week our Stateline Farm Beginnings® (SFB) class is fortunate enough to have guest speakers come and discuss their farming experience, first-hand. During the third session of SFB, on November 9th, the course topic was land access. We had several farmers come and give detailed accounts of how their farms’ each gained access to land. One of the farmer speakers, Chris Prchal of Trogg’s Hollow in Poplar Grove, Illinois provided the class with transparent and honest information which I and several others in class appreciated. 

Trogg’s Hollow CSA and Market Farm is a family-owned and...

We are pleased to announce we have a new Executive Director at Angelic Organics Learning Center. Welcome, Jackie de Batista! As a past graduate of Angelic Organics Learning Center's Farm Beginnings program and a past CRAFT Steering Committee member, we can attest to her knowledge, skills and passion for the Learning Center. She is a farmer managing a 205 acres sustainable family farm and she brings skills as an educator and mentor with 4-H Youth Development, University of Illinois Extension.   Jackie’s start date is Oct 21st. Please join us in welcoming Jackie to the Learning Center as our new Executive...

In Elkhorn Wisconsin, Tim Huth’s farm, LotFotL (Living Off The Fat Of The Land) Community Farm, is wrapping up its 11th year of production. LotFotL raises organically-fed and pastured hogs, grows organic vegetables and row crops plus obtains and distributes many different natural and organic foodstuffs. These goods are then distributed via a 150 member CSA and an additional 50 through their ‘Choice CSA program,’ which allows members to customize their CSA box to fit what works for them. The vision for LotFotL hasn’t changed much over the years, but their...

Next week, we celebrate Thanksgiving; we gather with our friends and family around the bounty of the harvest, and express gratitude for our relationships and our communities.  For many of us, this holiday will feature the fresh foods grown by our very own, local, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers!

Let’s make sure that our gratitude extends to our farmers in very real and tangible ways.   Every day these farmers face changing markets, changing climate, and a changing culture that often favors convenience over relationships. 

I challenge you this year to find a fresh and deeper way...

Karolina Kowalczyk grew up in a small town in Poland where most people around her “farmed, kept livestock, and were self-sufficient,” which created a sense of community. It was this environment that gave her a love of growing food to share with other people. Karolina began her farm dream by taking Angelic Organics Learning Center’s yearlong farm business planning course, Stateline Farm Beginnings (SFB). She graduates from the program next month and has been working hard to make her farm dream a reality —  working nearly fourteen hours a day, seven days a week.

Her farm...

Angelic Organics Learning Center Scottish Highland Cattle

“Come on cows!”   More than a few dozen youth and adults – some campers and parents, some staff, some volunteers – formed a chorus of calls for the herd of Scottish Highland cattle to move, for the first time, from the pastures on south campus at Angelic Organics Association to the north campus we call Kinnikinnick Fields, 80-acres of remnant, and degraded, oak savannah.  It will be the cows’ primary task to help restore this land.

Historically, this region was a vast oak savannah whose profound fertility was built up over many centuries in great...

I drive out to a remote part of the City of Beloit, Wisconsin one breezy summer evening to talk to Ben and Meghan Snare. I walk into their house—a renovated farm house—and begin setting up my gear while they get their children ready for bed. We sit down at their kitchen table, the warm glow of a cloudy sunset pouring into their home.

Despite growing up around farms, they didn’t have much experience in farming; in fact both went on to take full-time jobs in the tech industry located in the suburbs of...

We said goodbye last week to another dear friend and colleague:  Rick Jensen, our accountant for the past two years, passed away Friday morning after a short illness. 

When I think of Rick, I think of his desire to serve, and his willingness to step up to help with what needed to be done, from fixing the door to researching a complex accounting task.  Rick would arrive to work early so he could focus while it was still quiet, with a background of light jazz playing on his computer. He’d tolerate meetings and discussions, but...

Ruth GFA

Dear friends,

It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of Ruth Fairchild after a car accident.  Ruth was a true visionary, disciple, mentor, friend, and warrior who served as a leader and partner in the Learning Center’s work over the past decade. The following is an excerpt from our nomination of Ruth for Rockford’s 2017 Excalibur Award; it captures just a taste of her indomitable spirit and her impact on individuals and the broader community.  

Ruth Fairchild first called me in...

Pasqua, one of our Scottish Highland cattle, gave birth on Tuesday night to a large, stillborn calf. Traumatized by her loss, a long labor, and damaged nerves, she lay listless in the pasture. Our staff brought water, grain, and encouragement, but the real gift for Pasqua came from the third graders at Prairie Hill Waldorf School, who spontaneously sang choral music to soothe and comfort her.  

Spring is the time of year when many Waldorf schools bring their third graders to our farm to experience farm life....

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