Field Day and Seafood Lunch: Can Conservation Pay?

Date: October 24, 2018, 9:45am
Location: Dolan Farms, Dodgeville, WI

First Annual Wisconsin Chili Lunch

Date: November 15, 2018
Location: Statewide

6th Annual Perennial Farm Gathering

Date: December 7-8, 2018
Location: Lussier Family Heritage Center, Madison

more events


The Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers: Keeping the Dream of Farming Alive

As older farmers retire, fewer young farmers are stepping in to take their place. The number of beginning farmers dropped 20 percent in the last five-year census period, and the average US farmer now tops 58 years of age. more

CIAS Mini-Grants Support Graduate Student Research in Sustainable Agriculture

CIAS supports innovative graduate student research addressing the challenges faced by small- and medium-sized farms and food businesses. Awarded annually, our competitive mini-grants aid students as they initiate their research in sustainable agriculture and food systems. more

Wisconsin School for Beginning Market Growers

Date: Jan 14 2011 5:00 pm

Location: [unknown]

Posted November 2010

Download the course brochure

The Wisconsin School for Beginning Market Growers, a three-day workshop for people interested in starting a fresh market vegetable farm, will be offered January 14-16, 2011 on the UW-Madison campus.

Now in its thirteenth year, the school has developed alongside rising demand for local and organic food and rapid growth in the number of farmers’ markets, community-supported agriculture farms, and stores, restaurants, hospitals and schools seeking locally produced vegetables.

While this increasing demand creates opportunities for aspiring fresh market growers, it does not ensure a profitable or enduring business, says John Hendrickson, the school’s coordinator.

“That’s where the School for Beginning Market Growers comes in,” says Hendrickson. “Our intensive workshop provides a comprehensive look at what it takes to start and operate a business growing and selling fresh vegetables. We want people to not only learn how to grow food, but also how to make smart decisions about marketing, pricing, capitalization and labor.”

The program emphasizes organic production methods and direct marketing. Participants will learn about fertility management, greenhouse use, season extension, pest management, equipment needs, planning and budgeting. Instructors for the course include veteran market growers as well as UW faculty and staff.

While practical know-how is the cornerstone of the course, past participants have said that the most useful aspects were hearing the real-life stories of experienced growers and being able to network with peers who share their interest in making a business out of growing and selling fresh produce.

The School for Beginning Market Growers is sponsored by the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. Registration for the program costs $300. Enrollment is limited, so early sign-ups are advised. For more information, contact John Hendrickson at (608) 265-3704 or, or visit the CIAS web site: