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Farm Beginnings

Karolina Kowalczyk grew up in a small town in Poland where most people around her “farmed, kept livestock, and were self-sufficient,” which created a sense of community. It was this environment that gave her a love of growing food to share with other people. Karolina began her farm dream by taking Angelic Organics Learning Center’s yearlong farm business planning course, Stateline Farm Beginnings (SFB). She graduates from the program next month and has been working hard to make her farm dream a reality —  working nearly fourteen hours a day, seven days a week.

Her farm...

I drive out to a remote part of the City of Beloit, Wisconsin one breezy summer evening to talk to Ben and Meghan Snare. I walk into their house—a renovated farm house—and begin setting up my gear while they get their children ready for bed. We sit down at their kitchen table, the warm glow of a cloudy sunset pouring into their home.

Despite growing up around farms, they didn’t have much experience in farming; in fact both went on to take full-time jobs in the tech industry located in the suburbs of...

Over the past two years, Cliff McConville, owner of All Grass Farms, has supported his employees in pursuing their farm dreams by sending them to Stateline Farm Beginnings...

AJ Weis’ farm story begins at an early age. He grew up on his family’s farm, a conventional row crop farm in Burlington, WI, before attending University of Wisconsin-Madison...

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...

All things farm-labor related were discussed at LotFotL Community Farm on Tuesday, April 5th, 2016. The small group of 7 CRAFT members joined Tim Huth, owner of LotFotL and farmer of 10 years, to hash out many workforce issues of the day. What ensued was a very informal, wide ranging discussion. Some of the notable topics brought up included legalities in hiring and firing workers, strategies in finding good help, 4 season employee retention, prevailing wage considerations, and many other things of this nature. With most of the attendees being newer or brand new farmers, a lot of the discussion...

Our journey started early September 19. The Learning Center was one of many food & farm non-profits asked to set up shop in the “Homegrown Village” on Northerly Island. The prior week's rain made for muddy conditions, but the sun shone the entire time, as if to say...

Applications still available for the 2015-16 Stateline Farm Beginnings! Check out our FANTASTIC new video and learn more about the course, as well as its impact on graduates...

By Bill Ladd-Cawthorne

About a dozen Upper Midwest CRAFT farmers arrived for a field day at Natural Farm Stand in Richmond, IL, on Sunday, July 12. Natural Farm Stand is owned and operated by Sue and Gary Gauger on the farmland that Gary’s grandfather bought in 1923...

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