The Land Connection, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting farmland, training sustainable and organic farmers, and promoting a vibrant local food system is hosting a series of workshops called Farm Dreams.
Farm Dreams aims to introduce community members to the possibilities and necessities of starting their own farm business. As the demand for fresh, healthy foods produced by local farmers continues to rise, more and more people are thinking about starting entrepreneurial farm businesses.
These three-hour workshops are designed to help people decide if farming is right for them through initial assessment of resources and finances and thoughtful goal setting. The workshop will also look at what’s happening in entrepreneurial farming in Central Illinois today and provide an overview of crop and marketing options for farm and food start-ups, through both presentations and a panel of experienced sustainable farmers.
“The best part of these workshops is meeting and asking questions of local farmers, some of whom are also graduates of our training program, Central Illinois Farm Beginnings,” says The Land Connection’s farmer training program manager, Jeff Hake, who will facilitate the workshops.
Leah Roeschley, a 2014 graduate of Central Illinois Farm Beginnings, says that Farm Dreams helped her discover in more detail what her own farming goals were. “I needed to actually put into practice what I have been dreaming and learning about. I needed to build confidence, and I needed to test if I was cut out to be a farmer. The Farm Dreams workshop encouraged me to take more concrete steps toward my farming goals.”
Farm Dreams workshops are being held at the following times and locations:
– April 7, 6-9 p.m., Urbana, Common Ground Co-op’s Flatlander Classroom
– April 21, 6-9 p.m., Effingham Farm Bureau office
– May 5, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Kankakee Public Library
– June 2, 6-9 p.m., Danville Public Library
– July 7, 6-9 p.m., Peoria (exact location TBD)
A light supper featuring local breads, cheeses, and vegetables is included in the registration fee of $20.00. To find out more, or register for the workshop, call The Land Connection, or visit the website http://thelandconnection.org/