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Farmer Training Initiative

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

Farmer Training Initiative

United States farmers age 65 and older outnumber those under the age of 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 prospective, beginning and experienced farmers through training in business planning, financial management and regenerative agricultural practices. Our commitment is to work with small-scale, low-input growers who wish to become sustainable agriculture growers for our local food system. The FTI also makes connections with other individuals and organizations to help facilitate linkages for Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (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.

Upper Midwest CRAFT
Join Upper Midwest CRAFT! We welcome all levels of experience in farming. The alliance has become one of the leading efforts to train the next generation of organic, biodynamic, and sustainable farmers.
Stateline Farm Beginnings®
Stateline Farm Beginnings® is a farmer-led business planning and support program designed to help people plan and launch sustainable farm businesses.
Farm Financing Opportunities
Our farmer training staff is here to help you gain the financial skills that will strengthen the economic viability of your farm.
Take Root Farmer Training Program for Veterans
Take Root is a program that connects military veterans to the trade of farming, with paid employment and training on established farms in southern WI, northern IL, and the Chicagoland area
Routes to Farm
Routes to Farm helps farmers serving the Chicago foodshed find resources to grow their businesses.
Resources
Aside from what Routes to Farm can offer, we have put together a list of other helpful resources.