FairShare works closely with our community of growers to develop and share resources, build skills and farm efficiencies and to maintain a spirit of collaboration and camaraderie. FairShare endorses new farms each year through an application and interview process and throughout the year sponsors Farmer-to-Farmer Programs for FairShare endorsed farms and other direct market producers. Other resources provided by FairShare include the annual Organic Vegetable Production Conference, on-farm research trials, and a new Organic Vegetable Farm Manager Apprenticeship program.
FairShare Field Days occur in the summer and fall and are opportunities to visit local farms while they are in production. Coalition growers open their farm to the public for a guided tour and discussion of diverse topics related to farm production. Field Days are free and open to the public.
2018 Field Days:
Practical Food Safety in the Age of FSMA, July 25th
Ridgeland Harvest – Infrastructure and Conservation, August 12th
Workshops are single-topic, intensive programs offering attendees several hours of hands-on experience. Attendance is typically capped at 15-25 to ensure that all attendees are able to ask questions and engage with the presenters and topic material. For topics directly related to farm production, the workshop will tend to take place on a farm. Past workshops have covered Fruit Tree Grafting, Quickbooks for CSA Growers, Crop Planning, Early Season Hoophouse Production, Mechanical Cultivation, and Building a Low-Cost Packshed & Cooler.
2018 Technical Workshops:
Two Onion Farm – Exploring Organic Vegetable No-Till, September 13th
These semi-formal gatherings sessions are typically held as a potluck during the winter and are open to anyone who would like to attend. Farmers, consultants, faculty, and extension staff come together to share ideas, experiences, and suggestions for a particular topic, such as labor management, pest control, irrigation systems, or cover crops.
2018 Grower Gatherings:
CSA Customization Grower Gathering, November 7th
This two-day event in early February draws farmers from around the Midwest and beyond. Every session digs deep on one vegetable or farm management practice and is accompanied by a detailed handout including explicit information from three farmers working at different scales. Click here for the 2019 conference schedule.
FairShare works with farmers on their farms to explore research questions they may not have time to address on their own. Since 2015 we have been exploring issues around cover crops and no-till practices suitable for organic vegetable systems.
This new program is the first state-accredited apprenticeship for organic vegetable farming in the United States! It was crafted by farmers and is designed to provide accessible and holistic training that assists farmers in developing skilled workers on their farms.
The Organic Vegetable Farm Manager Apprenticeship provides a long-term training opportunity that combines hands-on field work (90% of the program) with coursework delivered through the WI Technical College System (10% of the program.) The two-season training provides a pathway for farmers to train and retain employees perennially.