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Farm Dreams 2018



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Farm Dreams is an annual workshop series for aspiring farmers like you to discover what it would really take to start your own farm business. From assessing your skills and resources, to meeting successful farmers in your region, to deciding next steps for pursuing your farm dream, this workshop is the perfect setting for you to find out what it takes to own a successful farm business.

At each event, the host farmer will give a comprehensive tour of their farm, explaining how they started and grew to their current size. The host will then be joined by two other farmers for a panel discussion where you'll have the opportunity to explore with them more about their farming journeys. The workshop also includes exercises to help assess your skills and resources, and direction for the next steps toward fulfilling your farm dreams. 

Each workshop is from 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. and is held on a working farm.

Registration costs $30 and includes a light supper and the Farm Dreams Handbook.

Questions can be sent to or by calling 217-840-2128.

The Schedule:

Four Winds Farm

Deborah Lee
July 9, 5:30-9:00pm | Quincy, IL

Bear Creek Farm and Ranch

Debbie Daniels
August 6, 5:30-9:00pm | Palmer, IL

Sola Gratia

Traci Barkley
September 10, 5:30-9:00pm | Urbana, IL

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The Farmers:

deborah lee

Four Winds Farm | Quincy, IL

Working as an Environmental Educator in the mid 1970’s, Deborah realized that a clean, healthy global environment begins with personal health. Since then she has studied natural health extensively. She is author of numerous magazine articles and the book “Exploring Nature’s Uncultivated Garden”.

As an Herbal Educator, Deborah guides students to a greater understanding of how to live in harmony with nature. She offers joy- filled workshops and talks on growing, preparing and using medicinal, wild edible and culinary herbs. Catch her passion!


debbie daniels

Bear Creek Farm and Ranch | Palmer, IL

Debbie and her husband purchased their farm in 1997 & have not used chemicals since then. They build the soil & use natural methods to control pests. They recently purchased the connecting farm & are expanding into camping on the farm. Their certified kitchen allows us to freeze & can products & make things like stock & bone broth. They also make baked goods. They have a greenhouse & high tunnel.


Traci barkley

Sola Gratia | Urbana, IL

Traci is the Executive Director of Sola Gratia Farm, a urban, community-based farm dedicated to producing locally-grown, high-quality, natural produce. The farm is committed to helping those who lack adequate food resources by donating a minimum of ten percent of its produce to support regional hunger programs.  The farm promotes healthy lifestyles and community building through volunteering and service, special events and outreach and education programs. She operates a CSA, as well as selling produce at area farmers markets and grocery stores.

What are people saying about Farm Dreams?

"I took the workshop to begin taking bigger steps in my new sustainable farming career. It made me think deeper about my future plans, explore other farms, and set me up to take more classes with The Land Connection." -John Williams, Red Crib Acres and PrairiErth Farm

"I attended The Land Connection's Farm Dreams class when I was still a sociologist, as I was just contemplating a major career shift into farming. That class was the first time I articulated out loud my plan to become a farmer in front of other people, and the kinds of guiding questions and discussions we had helped me move from a nebulous, interior, imagined idea of farming to something much more concrete--and therefore much more doable." -Katie Kenney, Stone Court Farm

"Farm Dreams showed me where I have room for growth and helped me put together the vision of what I wanted from our farm. I particularly liked when we were asked to choose one word to describe our farm dream, and to draw and describe the map of our ideal farm." -Tony Grant, Fat Hill Farm



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