- Winter Course Sessions (October 2017 - March 2018)
- 10 sessions of the farm business planning
- Upper Midwest CRAFT Field Days (April - October 2018)
- Training events at sustainable farms in northern IL and southern WI
- One-on-One Mentoring (April - October 2018)
- Pairing with a farmer-mentor on a case-by-case basis
- Last Session & Graduation Event (September 2018)
- Share summer-time experiences and celebrate the completion of the course!
CIFB will help you:
- Craft a detailed business plan for your farm, including your vision, mission, goals, and marketing and finance strategies
- Tap into the knowledge of innovative and skilled farmers
- Access opportunities for land and equipment use
- Receive mentoring from a farmer engaged in a similar enterprise
- Develop lasting relationships with many beginning and experienced farmers, plus a wide range of relevant professionals, including USDA specialists, farmers market managers, accountants, and attorneys
Farm Beginnings is emerging as the most effective way to increase the number of beginning farmers who are building food and farm economies that are green, fair, and healthy.
Farm Beginnings is recognized as “a model that is creating strong new farm businesses across the country” by Kathleen Merrigan then U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture (in her 2012 remarks to the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program directors).
Our farmer training is unique in that it is farmer-led, community based, and focused on sustainable agriculture.
Farm Beginnings is a yearlong program that incorporates a nine-seminar farm business-planning course, a series of on-farm field day workshops, and one-on-one mentoring from area farmers. The program is embedded in a network of farmers and supported by a community of stakeholders that include bankers, business people, extension agents, investors, philanthropists and more. Creating this social infrastructure is intentional and a precursor to launching new programs, as it bolsters outcomes and plans for program sustainability.