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MVEG: A new collaborative network

Introducing … a new collaborative effort connecting diversified vegetable growers with resources, services and their peers across the Midwest!

The Midwest Vegetable Growers Network – MVEG, for short – was formed by FairShare in partnership with other farmer support organizations across eight Midwestern states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The MVEG Network also brings vegetable farmers to the table to directly advise and guide the network in our efforts to address the needs of direct market growers.

Earlier this month, the farm support organizations and farmers who make up the MVEG network met in-person for the first time in Madison, WI. It was a day full of learning and working together, along with forging new connections among the organizations and farms who collectively reach across the Midwest. We began the day by building a physical web of connectivity, showing how we are linked together in this newfound community, and learning about each person’s individual contributions.

Discussions continued throughout the day, covering everything from efforts to collaborate on and how to expand the reach of member organizations’ programs, to inviting new participants into the network and making tangible progress in our smaller, topical Working Groups.

One of the most exciting developments to come from our in-person gathering was a collaboratively created list of farmer peer-to-peer happenings that are already underway across the Midwest, which we can now promote more widely as a network and help to deepen the relationships between farmers in our region. Just a few examples of these efforts include the annual Queer Farmer Convergence in Decorah, IA, put on by Humble Hands Harvest; a Climate Resiliency Cohort led by the Land Stewardship Project in MN; and the new Michigan CSA Network for farmers that’s just getting off the ground.

The Working Groups were able to get hands-on work done at our in-person meeting as well, and then carried that work into the Organic Vegetable Production Conference over the following couple of days. MVEG Working Groups each held a roundtable for open discussion at OVPC, covering each of the subject areas that are being focused on: Farmer Resiliency & Health, Climate Change, Farm Labor, & Technical Skill Attainment.

Because we recognize that a stronger community results when we have access to and consider diverse ideas and experiences, this network actively includes farmers from diverse geographic, racial, and gender backgrounds, who sell through various marketing streams. Our Farmer Committee members play an integral role in ensuring that the MVEG Network uplifts and upholds diversity of all kinds across all levels of involvement within the network. To learn more about our network, check out our Mission, Vision, & Equity Statement, see all of the members involved – both organizations and farmers – and keep an eye on upcoming events, head to our just-launched website at


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