Minneapolis, MN

Big River Farms presents Farmer Education Program

Stephanie Moua

Erik Aquino/Unsplash

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Big River Farms, The Food Group's program to educate and advancing farmers, is offering the Farmer Education Program.

The program aims to support farmers to have realistic thoughts about running and owning farm possibilities and help to build the farmers' skills to run their farms after graduating from the program.

Participants will be introduced to the realities of running their own farm, not just the food-producing process but also details to run a business. They will attend classes on various topics, from production to marketing and operating a farm business.

The growing season classes will be held at Big River Farms or on other nearby farms. There will also be winter classes that will be held weekly in St. Paul.

This program is already established in January 2021 and keeps going through the growing seasons. The program also features 8 to 12 winter classes, 10 in-field training including field trips to other farms with short skill sessions. The practice farm has an area to practice growing vegetables secured with a fence and has fertility added.

The farm also has cleaning and packing facilities with cold storage. There is also tractor tillage and water access with irrigation. Organic certification training will be provided, along with networking opportunities at the Emerging Farmers Conference. There will be one-on-one meetings and in-field consultation with staff as well.

The farm's staff will provide them access to resources, including the place to purchase seeds, tools, supplies, and even the place to sell the products. In addition, the staff will assist participants in making business goals and keeping the farm on record through regular visits to the participants' fields.

There are two classes provided. The first is the Full Land-Based training program that includes all courses and personal consultation, land use, and infrastructure use. The second is Individual Classes that are open to the public. Participants can choose between winter classes or in-field training. Individual classes cost $25.

Prospective Full Land-Based program participants can contact Ka Zoua Berry, Big River Farms Education Manager, by email at kberry@thefoodgroupmn.org or by phone at 651-433-3676. Program registration will be from October through December, followed by training classes in January.

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