Stateline Farm Beginnings class of 2012-2013
We are thrilled to announce that the 8th year of Stateline Farm Beginnings® has recently commenced! I wonder if anyone could have predicted, back in 2005 when Angelic Organics Learning Center offered its first Farm Beginnings class, that the demand for farmer training and the need for new farmers would persist and even grow? Maybe our founders knew. Clearly the interest in locally produced food, raised with care for the planet and for its inhabitants has soared since then. That consumer demand has been accompanied by a growing interest in farming itself – in owning and managing farm businesses that produce healthy food.
Stateline Farm Beginnings® is a year-long program focusing on farm business planning, mentorship, and on-farm field days for aspiring farmers. This year, 28 individuals were accepted into the program, representing 18 farm businesses or "families". If our track record holds true, about 12 of those families will launch farm businesses and begin to contribute to their local economy and their local foodshed after finishing the course. It’s an exciting time.
Program participants hail from both sides of the Illinois/Wisconsin border. They range in age from mid-20s to late-50s... they are rural and urban... several come from farming backgrounds while many others do not...but all of them have a goal to make money farming, most as full-time income, and to share the fruits of their labor with others. Community often develops - or occurs - around food, from the farm to the kitchen to the table. Stateline Farm Beginnings® participants this year may just be your farmer next year, so it is with much enthusiasm that we announce their beginning, here at Angelic Organics Learning Center. We will work hard to support their efforts and help them to realize their farm dreams. For more information on the Stateline Farm Beginnings® program, contact Program Facilitator Sheri Doyel at 815-389-8455 or firstname.lastname@example.org.