Sep 20, 2022
MSU Organic Farmer Training Program now in Detroit and East Lansing
Michigan State University’s new partnership with Keep Growing Detroit leads to a hands-on learning site.
For the first time, Michigan State University Organic Farmer Training Program (OFTP) participants can choose to learn hands-on farming skills in either Detroit or East Lansing, Michigan, according to the university. In addition, the full learning community will meet for interactive online class days and field trips to more than 20 farms throughout Michigan.
The OFTP brings together beginning and aspiring farmers, educational gardeners, homesteaders and farmworkers of all backgrounds to learn farming skills, network with other farmers and learn from each other. Each graduate creates a viable Farm Business Plan that aligns their values, goals and skills with local community needs for nutritious, culturally appropriate foods and services like school gardens.
The new OFTP host farm, Keep Growing Detroit, grows and distributes transplants and seeds to over 2,000 farmers and gardeners in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park and also organizes workshops, youth programs and the Grown in Detroit marketing collaborative. Four farmers at Keep Growing Detroit—Akello Karamoko, Kido Pielack, Molly Hubbell and Rosebud Schneider—will each lead a few of the hands-on learning days, giving Detroit participants a wide range of perspectives and expertise.
The MSU Student Organic Farm in East Lansing will continue to host hands-on learning that features tractor-scale outdoor field production alongside hand-scale, year-round hoophouse production and an Edible Forest Garden. Katie Brandt will teach many of the hands-on days in East Lansing alongside farm staff and crew.
Online learning can be a great way to connect with people one-on-one for peer input on farm business plan ideas, for group discussions or to hear from farmer guest speakers, Michigan State University Extension educators, USDA lenders or others.
Apply here for the Organic Farmer Training Program (OFTP).