*Don't see your network listed? We want to hear about it! Tell us about your network here.
Upper Midwest C.R.A.F.T. (northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin)
CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) works to train our next generation of organic, biodynamic, and/or sustainable farmers.
CRAFT members gain access to hands-on training and learn skills that will help them advance from farming novice to starting and running their own farm. CRAFT offers on-farm training and business planning, field day workshops hosted by member farms and access to a wide variety of resources. All provided directly by the experienced farmers. You will be exposed to a wide diversity of farming practices and join a supportive network of farmers and farmers-in-training.
CRAFT welcomes trainees with all levels of experience, whether you've never farmed before, you have significant experience and need advanced training, or you're an established farmer seeking to transition to sustainable agriculture. CRAFT trainees include rural and urban residents, recent immigrants, and a high percentage of women. Many get involved through internships on CRAFT member farms. More than 70 sustainable farms in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin belong to CRAFT. Coordination is provided by Angelic Organics Learning Center. See website for more information: www.learngrowconnect.org/what/training/craft Contact: Rebecca Haldeman, Program Assistant, at rebecca
@learngrowconnect.org or 815-389-8455.
We are an informal group of farmers that want to provide locally grown farm products to our communities. Contact: Tom & Lisa Jones, Sheffield Gardens, tommy67
Northwest Indiana Growers Network
We are a small network of 3 CNG growers who are looking to do more in our area. We are Chad Gard (Hole in the Woods Farm), Brent Eccles (Green Acres Farm, and John Childs (Childs' Farm). We seek to do more collaborative work to save on marketing/shipping costs at markets in Chicago, roughly 90 miles away. Contact: Chad Gard, chad
Women, Food and Agriculture Network
Our mission is to link and empower women to build food systems and communities that are healthy, just, sustainable, and that promote environmental integrity.WFAN offers workshops and field days for all women involved in sustainable ag, including aspiring and beginning farmers. Contact: info
@wfan.org, PO Box 611, Amex, IA 50010, www.wfan.org. To join our listserve email leigh
Practical Farmers of Iowa
Our mission is to advance profitable, ecologically sound, and community-enhancing approaches to agriculture through farmer-led investigation and information sharing. Click here for our vision.
PFI specializes in farmer-to-farmer networking through our Cooperators’ Program, Field Days, Annual Conference, Grazing Clusters, Farminars, and more. Farmer members are the catalyst for the directions taken in our Program Areas (Field Crops, Horticulture, Grazing, Niche Pork, Next Generation, Poultry, and Policy). Contact: call us 515-232-5661 or visit our webiste practicalfarmers.org
Kansas Beginning Farmers Coalition
Organizers of the Kansas Beginning Farmers Coalition have seen a need for a group that supports young and beginning farmers in produce and niche markets. The Coalition hopes to serve this group of farmers by providing education and network opportunites and be an advocate for local food in Kansas. Contact: Email us at kfu.nick
@gmail.com, give us a call at 620-241-6630, or like us on Facebook
CSAFarmersMarket.com (south east Michigan)
The online CSA Farmers Market is a group of small family owned and operated growers and producers from Southeast Michigan. Some of us are Certified Organic, some Certified Naturally Grown, all of us use organic practices. We work together to provide easier access for customers to receive local-organic-food, we have 13 distribution locations. For more information on selling to this market please see our Q's and A's webpage. Contact: Marian Listwak, White Pine Farm, whitepineorganicfarm
Marquette Area Farmers Guild
We are a group of local farmers working to promote Certified Naturally Grown foods and standards. Our goal is to raise awareness of food production and consumption, encourage a vibrant, diverse and sustainable local food system. We are striving to educate our community on local food issues, the importance of creating local food systems, growing your own food at some level, and the urgency of the need for seed saving/seed bank. We're working on putting together a "time bank" for people to work for food, education, etc., helping community members make direct farmer/consumer connections, working together in every aspect of local farming and local food that we can think of. Contact: Randy Buchler, rlht
Northwest Lower Michigan C.R.A.F.T.
CRAFT is a network of farmers. It’s informal, simple, and free for member farms. CRAFT is open to anyone who is interested in continuing to learn the craft of agriculture. Each farm must host one CRAFT event during this year’s growing season, on a date that works with your schedule. In addition, each farm must allow time for interns, apprentices and other farm-learners to attend other CRAFT events—at least a few each season.
CRAFT is a network of farmers. It’s informal, simple, and free for member farms. CRAFT is open to anyone who is interested in continuing to learn the craft of agriculture. Each farm must host one CRAFT event during this year’s growing season, on a date that works with your schedule. In addition, each farm must allow time for interns, apprentices and other farm-learners to attend other CRAFT events—at least a few each season. Contact: Amanda Kik at (231) 622-5252 or amanda
@artmeetsearth.org, visit our webiste artmeetsearth.org/craft.html
Farmer Network, Land Stewardship Project (statewide)
LSP’s Farmer Network of over 130 farms includes a broad spectrum of farming enterprises: beef, dairy, hogs, meat and dairy goats, sheep, poultry, wholesale vegetables, Community Supported Agriculture, organic grains and specialty products such as cut flowers, hazelnuts and cheese. Our farmer network also includes many farmers that went through Farm Beginnings training and have built operations from the ground up. Farmers are part of the network to share their experiences and provide informal mentoring to those in the beginning to intermediate stages of farming. Many of these farmers are also presenters at field days, tours and winter workshops. We publish an annual Farmer Network Handbook that lists Farm Beginnings graduates and LSP member farmers that are available for networking and informal mentoring. Farms list contact information, production and business strengths, and opportunities to attend tours and work exchanges on network farms. Contact: Parker Forsell at 507-523-3366 or parker
@landstewardshipproject.org Website: landstewardshipproject.org/morefarmers/lspfarmernetwork
Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota, Local Chapters
The Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota supports the development and enhancement of sustainable farming systems through farmer-to-farmer networking, innovation, demonstration, and education. Our goals are to
- Promote sustainable farming systems through innovation and demonstration of profitable and environmentally sound farming methods that benefit rural families and communities.
- Enhance and expand our information network among SFA members, SFA Chapters, and the public through on-farm learning experiences, online communications, seminars, research projects, and the media.
- Mentor and encourage farmers, especially the next farming generation.
- Research, market, and promote sustainable agriculture practices and products by working with governmental and non-profit agencies, colleges and universities, faith communities and other organizations.
- Increase farmer participation and profitability in developing and expanding community-based food systems.
- Inform and educate consumers about healthy food and farming practices that yield a diverse array of sustainably produced food, fiber and energy.
SFA-MN Local chapters--
Cannon River: Kathy Zeman, Nerstrand, MN, 507-664-9446, kzeman
Central: Robert Bauer, 314.662.3281, bauer321
Coteau Ridge: Don DeWeerd, Pipestone, MN, 507.825.2077, dondeweerd
Crow River: Jerry Ford, Howard Lake, MN, 320-543-3394, jerry
@sfa-mn.org; website: www.sfa-mn.org/crow-river
Lake Agassiz: Diane Narum, McIntosh, MN, 218-563-4027, ottoman1957
Lake Superior: Jean Sramek, 218-393-FARM, info
@lakesuperiorfarming.org; website: www.lssfa.org
South Central: Sherry Jansen, 507.437.0063, mybackcontact
@gmail.com AND Wes Tennis, 507.256.4888, alchrist
Southeast: Edgar Hansgen, St. Charles, MN, 507-932-4219, ejhansgen
@hotmail.com AND Andy Olson, Utica, MN, 507-523-2027, olso1703
Western: LeeAnn VanDerPol, Kerkhoven, MN, 320-367-2061, grassroots
Mid-North Central Missouri Growers Association
We are a network of growers in North Central Missouri sharing information and collaborating in ways that are mutually beneficial. Our network activities include the following:
-Combined ordering of seed or supplies
-Bartering or sharing services or equipment
-Events or campaigns promoting local food
-Pooling products/ Multi-Farm CSAs
-Joint storage or processing facilities
-Apprenticeships for new farmers and growers
-Workshops, seminars and talks by local farmers & agricultural people in the industry
Contact: Dan & Joanne Nelson, danjofarms
Ozarks CRAFT seeks to educate future farmers in two primary ways; with on-farm internships, either full-time residential or part time (one or two days a week), and single day workshops. These workshops will be held on host farms, where we’ll have class time led by farmers and extension specialists, eat lunch, and tour the farm. As part of each farm tour, we’ll contribute an hour or two of work to the farm hosting the workshop, to help offset their loss of a day of work. All workshops and tours will be open to the general public for a modest fee (approximately $20), which will help defray the cost of the Ozarks CRAFT program. Ozarks CRAFT interns will be exempt from registration fees. The intended audience for these workshops are persons interested in learning more about the details of farming for market, and specifically people who already have some on-farm experience, and are ready to expand their knowledge base to become better farmers, managing crops, livestock, land, and labor for the benefit of all. Visit out website: ozarkscraft.wordpress.com
Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society
The Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society is a member-based, grassroots, non-profit, farmer led organization dedicated to sustainable farming and foods in Nebraska. NSAS was founded in the 1970's by a group of organic farmers.
NSAS has provided numerous resources, educational and networking opportunities for farmers across Nebraska. One resource is the NSAS listserv, which is available as a resource and online learning platform and includes weekly events and opportunities for farmers. Another resource is a database of resources located on the NSAS website, which includes past lectures, workshops, webinars and other resources for farmers interested in sustainable and organic agriculture.
The Farm Beginnings® Nebraska educational training and support program, designed to help people who want to evaluate and plan their farm enterprise, is sponsored by NSAS and its partners University of Nebraska, Land Stewardship Project and Center for Rural Affairs. Participants engage in a mentorship experience and network with a variety of successful, innovative farmers while attending practical, high quality seminars, field days and conferences.
The program is unique in that several successful farmers participate in the program as presenters, explaining firsthand the nuts and bolts of their farming operation, including alternative marketing avenues. Most of the farmer-presenters come from small to medium sized farming operations that produce and market many different diversified and value-added products. While any beginning farmer would benefit from attending these training sessions, many participants want to emphasize sustainable agriculture and organic agriculture principles on their farms.
Click here: www.healthyfarms.org or email healthyfarms
Southeast Ohio Growers
We are an informal group of growers (the name is not really official yet), who share the desire to provide organically grown produce to markets and families in our area. Headed up by Jeff Mott, our collections of growers include many Amish neighbors and other farmers who raise fruit, vegetables, pastured poultry, grass-fed beef, and many other items.
Eastern Ohio Network
We're an informal group - small handful of growers - along the border with Pennsylvania. We've collaborated on bulk orders of amendments and seed together in the past. Contact: Susan West, bluebirdsusan
Farmer Network of Dakota Rural Action
The goal of the Farmer Network is to create a networked community of beginning and established farmers through resource sharing opportunities and education.
The Farmer Network will host 6-8 farm tours or skills sessions this summer and will present multiple Winter Workshops on farm-related topics such as production, financials/record-keeping, and enterprise profitability. Check out 2012′s Summer Farm Tours & Skills Sessions.
Additionally, the Farmer Network handbook is published once a year and spotlights mentor farmers along with any opportunities available on their farm. Beginning farmers are also listed with the resources they are seeking as they start their farm enterprise. The online list serve is active year round and circulates information about special events such as work days or short farm projects; farm opportunities like equipment or farm product sales; hiring of interns and employees; and even questions related to production.
The Farmer Network recently formed a member-led committee where beginning and established farmers come together to problem solve and connect with one another. This committee is currently pursuing campaigns for increasing land access for beginning farmers and boosting online resources for local farmers. Currently there are over 60 members of the Farmer Network. Members come from all across South Dakota as well as neighboring regions. Contact: Heidi Kolbeck-Urlacher at (605) 697-5204, heidiku
@dakotarural.org. Visit our website at dakotarural.org/grow/farmer-network
Ad hoc farmers network (western Wisconsin)
We are a loose network of sustainable farmers in western Wisconsin. It started with only a few of us, but more and more local farms are popping up in the area. We collaborate on ad hoc basis on things including joint-ordering, skill swaps, field days, and forums. Click here to read a brief profile. Contact: Michael Noreen of Burning River Farm, 715-653-2245, farmer
MOSES Rural Women's Project
A program of the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, the Rural Women's Project (RWP) supports women farmers and food-based ecopreneurs, providing resources, networking and collaborative opportunities to champion new business start-ups that support food system change. Activities include women-led workshops supporting women in sustainable ag, conservation workshops, and other networking opportunities. Website: www.mosesorganic.org/womensproject.html Contact: Lisa Kivirist, lisa
Wisconsin Young Farmers (Madison-area and statewide)
We are a group for and by young and beginning farmers, which seeks to help young/beginning farmers meet, support, and share with each other. Website: wisconsinyoungfarmers.wordpress.com, Contact: ginny.mae.moore
Upper Midwest C.R.A.F.T. (see listing under Illinois)
*Don't see your network listed? We want to hear about it! Tell us all about your network here.