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UW School for Beginning Apple Growers offered in March

The Midwest School for Beginning Apple Growers, a three-day workshop for people wanting to start an orchard business, will be offered March 15-17 in Bayfield.

This course will prepare participants to grow and sell apples using a variety of management strategies and tools.

“We aim to help people better understand the business of farming from production to marketing and economics so that they can set realistic goals and improve their chances of success,” says John Hendrickson, the school’s coordinator.

Now in its third year, this school will be taught by seasoned growers and university faculty. Primary instructors will be Bob Barthel of Barthel Fruit Farm in Mequon and Harry Hoch of Hoch Orchard and Gardens in LaCrescent, Minn. They’ll be joined by fruit specialist Rebecca Harbut and entomologist Christelle Guedot from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Jason Fischbach, UW-Extension agriculture agent for Ashland and Bayfield Counties.

The school will emphasize sustainable and organic production methods, including integrated pest management strategies. It will also cover marketing, orchard design, pruning, risk management and business start-up. Participants will have opportunities to network with others intent on making a business out of growing and selling apples.

The Midwest School for Beginning Apple Growers is sponsored by the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems and is open to the public. Registration costs $325. For more information, contact John Hendrickson at (608) 265-3704 or jhendric@wisc.edu, or visit the CIAS web site: www.cias.wisc.edu.