Listener Question: “Jensen” from Spring Lake Park asked, “Are there any hands on farmer training programs in MN?”
Thanks Jensen for the question, in fact there are many good farmer training programs and lots of great information available to beginning farmers. One in particular that I would mention is the Deep Roots Farmer Development Program.
For the past 25 years, SFA has helped to develop beginning farmers,” Executive Director John Mesko said. “During that time, SFA has learned a great deal about what makes for success in beginning farming operations.
Deep Roots is led by a design and instructional team of experienced farmers and educators, with Dr. Sue Wika serving as the design leader.
“The Deep Roots instructional team has worked with beginning farmers for some years,” Wika said. “We’re dedicated to the intensive practical farm skills training often absent from agricultural programs in higher education, particularly the skill set necessary for integrated crop and livestock operations. We’ll provide appropriate coursework for the total novice to the more experienced beginning farmers.”
SFA’s Livestock and Grazing Specialist, Kent Solberg; Tom Prieve, DVM; and Ryan Pesch, UMN Extension Educator, will round out the veteran instructional team.
Recently, The USDA-NIFA Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Program has awarded SFA a development grant to develop the DeepRoots Farmer Development Program.
Link to USDA News Release
In granting this award, the USDA clearly recognizes the need for incorporating a dedicated Farmer-to-Farmer Network® organization into the beginning farmer education landscape.
“There are a number of information resources available to those beginning a farm business,” Mesko said. “Deep Roots is a strong complement to existing training programs.”