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Wisconsin School for Beginning Market Growers accepting applications

The Wisconsin School for Beginning Market Growers invites aspiring fresh market produce growers to apply for its 2019 class. This three-day workshop will be held January 11-13, 2019 on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus in Madison, Wisconsin.

The school, now in its 21st year, serves new and beginning farmers, and emphasizes organic production methods and direct marketing.

“Whether you are interested in starting your own farm or working as a farm manager, this program will help you make smart business decisions about production, marketing, pricing, capitalization and labor,” says school coordinator John Hendrickson, an outreach specialist with the UW–Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems.

Program and application information are available at Enrollment is limited and early sign-ups are advised. The class is open to anyone serious about market farming, regardless of educational background. A limited number of scholarships are available to support participants interested in starting an organic produce farm.

The course is taught by a team of experienced growers that can provide practical knowledge and insight into what it takes to operate a farm business. Participants will learn about fertility management, greenhouse use, season extension, pest management and equipment needs. The grower-instructors will provide real-world perspectives on the realities of running a small-scale farm.

“A critical part of success is what happens before seeds touch the soil: planning, marketing and business management. This is where the experience of our grower-instructors can help people avoid costly mistakes,” says Hendrickson, who operates his own part-time organic vegetable farm.

Past participants are operating successful farm businesses across Wisconsin and the region. Many say that they still utilize the materials and lessons garnered from this unique program.

The Wisconsin School for Beginning Market Growers is sponsored by the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. For more information, contact John Hendrickson at (608) 265-3704 or