During the 2007 and 2008 seasons, The Minnesota Food Association (MFA) developed the Big River Farms Training Program as an integrated training approach to train and teach immigrant and minority farmers in certified organic vegetable production, accessing and developing markets for those vegetables, and learning the business practices that will help them develop successful small farm enterprises.
The program operates a farmand training facility at Wilder Forest, near Marine on St. Croix, in Washington County, MN. Big River Farms operates a 160 member CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) that includes a demonstration/production plot, and provides land to approximately 10 “farm” participants each year for growing vegetables, keeping farm records, and developing farm business goals and practices.
Starting in January and continuing throughout the season, farmer participants attend classes on the topics of production, marketing and operating a farm business. Winter classes are held weekly in St. Paul, while trainings during the growing season are held at Big River Farms or on other nearby farms.
Learn more about the MFA Farm Training Program at their website.