The Midwest School for Beginning Apple Growers, a three-day workshop for people wanting to start an orchard business, will be offered March 4-6 on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.
The course will prepare participants to grow and sell apples using a variety of management strategies and tools.
“We aim to help people better understand the business of farming, from production to marketing and economics, so they can set realistic goals and improve their chances of success,” says school coordinator John Hendrickson, an outreach specialist with the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS).
Now in its second year, this unique program combines the expertise of seasoned growers and university faculty. Primary instructors will be Bob Barthel of Barthel Fruit Farm in Mequon, Tom Griffith of Door Creek Orchard in Cottage Grove and Jackie Hoch of Hoch Orchard and Gardens in LaCrescent, Minn. Joining them will be UW–Madison fruit specialists Patricia McManus and Rebecca Harbut.
The school will emphasize sustainable and organic production methods including integrated pest management strategies, as well as risk management and business planning. The course also offers participants a great opportunity to network with others who share their interest in making a business out of growing and selling apples.
The Midwest School for Beginning Apple Growers is sponsored by the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems and the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association, and is open to the public. Registration for the program costs $300.