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Mallory Krieger's blog

Beginning Farm Beginnings, Again!

"When they begiiiin Farm Beginnings..." (to the tune of Cole Porter's Begin the Begine) Oh how I love Farm Beginnings and Cole Porter, so why not mesh them!

With summer coming into full force, I am in full preparation mode for Farm Beginnings. This October will mark the 13th class of new farmers that The Land Connection has ushered into their new careers! It is such a privilege to help prepare new farmers for starting their local food businesses.

Exercise Caution with the Weeds

Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting a demonstration garden at the University of Illinois School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Michael Biehl gave me a tour of the plants in their exhibit, and though it is still early spring, they are numerous and vibrant. This demonstration garden is not just any old collection of pretty plants, it is unique among the gardens that line Lincoln Avenue at the U of I campus, it contains POISONOUS plants!

Our Farm Beginnings students have flown the nest!

The 2016-17 Central Illinois Farm Beginnings class has concluded their classroom sessions! Congratulations to our students who made it through 63 hours of rigorous learning on topics ranging from enterprise budgets to legal liability management to whole farm planning. Starting in October, our students traveled from up to three hours away to learn from fellow farmers and industry experts. It was such a pleasure to get to know the students, help guide them through writing their business plans, and listen to the evolution of their ideas in their final presentations.

Jeff Moyer is coming to town!

Excitement fills the air! Farmers are gathering from across the region to discuss organic grains and how we grow this industry. I, personally, am brimming with anticipation of meeting the amazing farmers who are dedicated to growing organic grains in Illinois and Indiana. It takes a special person to commit to transitioning to organic production. It can be a lonely and confusing endeavor.

It's time to "cover-up" for winter

When I left the house this morning, I exhaled in the last rays of moonlight and gazed as the mist of my breath dissipated in the gentle breeze. I was cold and grateful. I was grateful that I had everything I need to survive the morning in that frigid air. I had a full belly of the morning's breakfast. I was well hydrated. I was breathing the oxygen rich morning air. And, I was clothed in the heavy winter sweater I recently pulled from summer storage. The organism of my body was supported.

I have grain on the mind...

This is my first blog entry at TLC and I have grain on the mind. One of my first large tasks as the Farmer Training Program Manager has been to finalize the planning of our upcoming workshop on organic grain marketing. It has my head swimming with memories of my childhood riding in my dad's combine and running through the corn stubbled fields of central Ohio. To this day, the smell of soybean dust is a close second favorite to the smell of tractor grease.

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