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Stateline Farm Beginnings - Class of 2016

This 12th class of Stateline Farm Beginnings wrapped up on Sunday, September 25 with a graduation ceremony and potluck.  The rainy afternoon resolved into beautiful sunshine as graduates gave updates on their farm businesses and shared details from the past growing season. 

The 2016 graduating class was robust in many ways. They were robust in size - 21 individuals representing 13 farms. They were robust with energy and creativity. All 13 farms completed a farm proposal and most completed the final farm business plan. It’s not easy. Participants work at "regular" jobs, raise families, maintain homes and some are already tending to farms. It’s often a lot to add 50+ hours of in-class instruction, homework and CRAFT field farm days to an already busy schedule.

The 2016 graduating class was an impressive group. Growing vegetables is the keystone for 7 of the 13 farm businesses, but many will have a secondary enterprise to maximize the sustainability of farm cycles (such as composted cow manure to fertilize crops, or hogs to clear and "till" land) and to increase farm income. Farm products ranged from beef cattle to duck eggs, with varied special interests such as farm stays and fruit produced using permaculture practices.

Here are our 2016 Stateline Farm Beginnings graduates, their hometowns and their areas of interest. They are poised to succeed and we wish them the best of luck!

Jelena Fishman - Big Rock, IL - Vegetables and Lamb Meat
Erin & Rick Cummisford - Grayslake, IL - Duck Eggs
Andrea Delaune and Randy Ebertowski - Burlington, WI - Beef Cattle and other livestock
Kelly Foster - Lisle, IL - Vegetables and Farm to Fork Restaurant
Gazanfar Hakeem - Park Ridge, IL- Meat Goats and Aquaponics
Megan and Adam Helt-Baldwin - Ridgeway, WI - Vegetables, Hogs and Tiny House Farm Stay
Wendy & John Hirst - Garden Prairie, IL - Hogs and Chickens (broilers and layers)
Laura Hurst Spell - Lockport, IL - Vegetables
Kathy & Kurt Leslie - Palos Heights, IL - Vegetables and Permaculture Fruit
Kyle Metzel - Round Lake Park, IL - Undecided
Monica Pierce and Jason Drane - Freeport, IL - Vegetables and Farm to School production
Jessica Underwood and Brent Burval - Barrington, IL  - Goats, Fall Crops and Grain
Shawn & AJ Weis - Burlington, WI - Vegetables and Beef Cattle

Learn More about Stateline Farm Beginnings