Learn from experienced farmers and ag experts about organic practices and farm finances to move your farm forward:
Iowa | Nov. 10-12, 2017
Pilgrim Heights Camp & Retreat Center, Montour, IA
Illinois | Dec. 8-10, 2017
Streator Baptist Camp, Streator, IL
Wisconsin | April 2018
October 2016 New Farmer U Highlights
Over 100 beginning farmers converged in Lanesboro, Minn. for our first New Farmer U weekend training to learn from “rock star” organic farmers and agriculture experts about a variety of farming best practices. We dug into topics including soil fertility, season extension, farm business planning, land access and funding sources. The Farmer Insight Panel featured four farmers from various beginning farm operations sharing what had worked for them, and not, in their first few years. Opportunities to network with other beginning farmers and mentors were had by all. New Farmer U is supported by NIFA, USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.
2016 New Farmer U Workshops
- Soil Fertility
Allen Philo, Soils Consultant, Wis.
Learn how to improve your soil and increase productivity and quality with low-cost inputs including cover crops.
- Season Extension
Ryan Pesch, Lida Farm, Minn.
From root cellars to high tunnel spring, summer and winter production, learn what has and hasn’t worked to extend the short farming season in northern Minnesota.
- Land Access and Funding for Farmers
Jan Joannides & Brett Olson, Renewing the Countryside, Minn.
Jan and Brett will bring the dirt on the current realities of land access for young farmers, and how to find funding to buy it.
- Growing Our Leaders
Nick Olson, Land Stewardship Project & Prairie Drifter Farm, Minn.
As the faces and climate of organic farming evolve, new opportunities arise to be active in policy and organizing. Learn how getting involved in farm policy off the fields can directly benefit your work in the fields.
- Setting Up a Fruit Farm
Rachel Henderson & Anton Ptak, Mary Dirty Face, Wis.
Anton and Rachel have built their certified organic fruit farm over the past 10 years. This farmer team will give you the tools for a realistic plan to build your fruit farm business.
- Weed and Pest Management
Laura Frerichs, Loon Organics, Minn.
Laura and her husband, Adam, have been showing weeds and pests who’s the boss on their certified organic 40 acres for 10 years. Learn best organic weed- and pest-control methods from the best.
- Farm Business Planning & Decision Making
Aimee Schomburg, Western Technical College, Wis.
Aimee teaches farm business management and runs her own dairy farm. Walk through different models and start or refine your farm’s plans.
- Pastured Poultry
Jody Padgham, MOSES & Wild Crescent Farm, Wis.
Jody has written and contributed to numerous books on farming, and served with the American Pastured Poultry Association. Add this low-input, high-quality enterprise to your young farm with her helpful instruction.
- Farm Machinery 101
Adam Cullip, Loon Organics, Minn.
Learn hands-on basic tractor mechanics, including how to change the oil and maintain the engine, and what to look for when it just won’t start.
- Impact and Benefits of Certification
Harriet Behar, MOSES & Sweet Springs Farm, Wis.
Harriet lives and breathes National Organic Program regulation as MOSES’ Senior Organic Specialist, and a member of the National Organic Standards Board. Learn from the expert how certification can take your farm business to the next level.
Ask an Expert Roundtables
Adding Value to Your Farm, Lisa Kivirist, Inn Serendipity
Farm Law Small-Group Consultations, Rachel Armstrong, Farm Commons
Harvest and Post-Harvest with a Side of FSMA, Harriet Behar, MOSES + Sweet Springs Farms
Farming While Raising Children, Jennifer Nelson, MOSES + Humble Pie Farm
Alphabet Soup: An Acronym Introduction, Lauren Langworthy, MOSES + Blue Ox Organics
Farmer Insight Panel: “What I’d do differently in my beginning years”
Dayna Burtness-Nguyen, Nettle Valley Farm
Eduardo Rivera, Sin Fronteras Farm and Food
Lauren Langworthy, Blue Ox Organics
Andrew Pierre, Clover Bee Acres
New Farmer U is supported by NIFA, USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (2015-70017-24092).