The Farm Beginnings® Collaborative

Organic GrowersSchool is a member of the Farm Beginnings® Collaborative

Farm Beginnings® Collaborative is a national alliance of independent regional groups of farmers and farmer-training support organizations working together to promote Farm Beginnings, a farmer training model that is community based, rooted in sustainable principles, and farmer led.

The original Farm Beginnings® program was developed by Land Stewardship Project in conjunction with a group of farmer members in 1997. Farm Beginnings programs currently service 9 states through 10 organizations.

Minnesota, Northeast Iowa and Western Wisconsin
Land Stewardship Project (LSP)
The Land Stewardship Project is a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1982 to foster an ethic of stewardship for farmland, to promote sustainable agriculture and to develop sustainable communities.

Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin
Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association (LSSFA)
The Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association is a non-profit coalition of producers and consumers moving farming practices and food systems into a sustainable future. LSSFA has a mission of supporting sustainable farming systems with innovation, demonstration, education and farmer-to-farmer networking.

Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois
Angelic Organics Learning Center (AOLC)
In 1999, Angelic Organics Learning Center was established as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization and a partner to Angelic Organics farm.  Angelic Organics Learning Center empowers people to create sustainable communities of soils, plants, animals and people through educational, creative, and experiential programs. The Learning Center, a nonprofit organization, is the educational partner to Angelic Organics, a vibrant Biodynamic community supported farm.

Central Illinois
Land Connection (TLC)
The Land Connection is a 501 © (3) nonprofit that envisions community-based food systems in the Midwest, in which every farmer has the opportunity to grow food in a sustainable manner, and every person has the choice to enjoy local and organic foods. The Land Connection works to establish successful farmers on healthy farmland, ensuring an abundance of delicious, local, and organic foods.

Southern Illinois
Food Works
Food Works is a non-profit organization with a practical mission: to rebuild the regional food infrastructure from field to fork. This is done by providing on-farm experiences and business planning relevant to farming entrepreneurs, by educating wholesale purchasers and the general public about the many benefits of locally grown food, and through coalition-building that empowers communities to initiate local food production and food access projects suited to their unique location and circumstances.

Eastern and Western Nebraska
Nebraska Sustainable Agricultural Society (NSAS) and University of Nebraska—Extension
NSAS is a non-profit, grass-roots membership organization. Initiated over 30 years ago by farmer members, NSAS has grown into a dynamic organization with members from all across Nebraska. We welcome farmers and non-farmers alike—everyone eats! NSAS’s mission is to promote agriculture and food systems that build healthy land, people, communities and quality of life, for present and future generations. The Extension Division of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln delivers research-based education and information to Nebraskans. These educational programs delivered via a variety of methods are offered through a federal, state and county partnership arrangement.

South Dakota
Dakota Rural Action (DRA)
Dakota Rural Action grew out of a steering committee called the South Dakota Rural Organizing Project (SDROP) which began in late 1985, who wanted a sustained, effective organizing response largely because of the farm crisis. DRA’s mission is to strive to build grassroots leadership through community organizing by giving people a strong voice in decisions affecting their qualify of life.

Southern Appalachians (North Carolina)
Organic Growers School
Organic Growers School is a 501c3 non-profit organization that grew out of the volunteer efforts of a group of farmers and extension specialists who, in 1993, gathered to discuss the need for nuts and bolts, region-specific crop growing information applicable for farmers in Western North Carolina. Organic Growers School is the premier provider of practical organic education in the Southern Appalachians. Their mission is to inspire, educate, and support people to farm, garden, and live organically. They are building a mutually supportive network of prosperous farmers, productive gardeners and informed consumers engaged in creating healthy communities.

North Dakota
Foundation for Agricultural and Rural Resources Management and Sustainability (FARRMS)
FARRMS empowers people to dream and realize those dreams creating thriving, exciting, diverse, and sustainable rural communities. We establish links between people, good food, living farms and the environment through hands-on educational experiences. The purpose of the Foundation is to build thriving rural communities through sustainable education, facilitation and micro-credit.

New York
Hawthorne Valley Farm Learning Center
Started in 1972, Hawthorne Valley Farm is a 400-acre farm, comprised of pastures, fields, woodlands and a 12–acre market garden. Our dairy, bakery, and Farm Store all have beautiful views of the rolling hillsides and pastures—often dotted with our dairy cows—and they share the village with our sister programs, the Visiting Students Program, Hawthorne Valley School, and the Alkion Center. In April of 2009 we opened the doors to the Hawthorne Valley Farm Learning Center, which has the mission to inspire, strengthen and transform people’s relationship to the living land.  Our Farm Beginnings Program is part of our commitment to grow awareness of farming as a worthy and viable vocation.