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School for Beginning Market Growers offered in January

The Wisconsin School for Beginning Market Growers is for anyone interested in starting a profitable, sustainable fresh market vegetable farm. This three-day workshop will be offered January 12-14, 2018 on the UW-Madison campus.

“We provide information and inspiration to help new growers make smart business decisions about production, markets, pricing, capitalization and labor,” says school coordinator John Hendrickson, an outreach specialist with the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems.

The popular program, now in its 20th year, emphasizes organic production methods and direct marketing. Participants learn about fertility management, greenhouse use, season extension, pest management and equipment needs. Aspiring growers will also hear about the financial and quality-of-life realities of running a small-scale farm business.

“Our course is taught by a team of experienced growers who provide a wealth of practical knowledge and insight into what it takes to operate a farm business, and avoid costly mistakes,” says Hendrickson, who operates his own part-time organic vegetable farm.

“Many past participants are farming today, and some have run successful farm businesses for as many as 20 years. Others pursued different opportunities after completing our school. Whatever their career paths, attendees tell us they are grateful they participated in the workshop,” he adds.

There are a limited number of $100 scholarships available to support participants interested in starting an organic farm.

The School for Beginning Market Growers is sponsored by the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. Registration for the program costs $345. Enrollment is limited, so early registration is advised.

For more information, contact John Hendrickson at (608) 265-3704 or jhendric@wisc.edu; visit the CIAS website at www.cias.wisc.edu; or visit the CIAS Beginning Grower Schools Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CIASGrowerSchools/.

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