Trainings for Beginning and Immigrant Farmers
Farmers don’t just grow crops and tend to animals; they are the stewards of complex ecosystems. They have to be knowledgeable, observant, flexible, and creative. We are providing beginning and immigrant farmers with the foundation they need to thrive in regenerative agriculture systems. To date, Sharing Our Roots has trained more than 100 aspiring farmers in Southeast Minnesota.
Our training program is two-parts. To get started, we offer guidance on small business management in the class-room (or virtually). During this time, trainees learn about the key aspects of poultry-centered regenerative agriculture, how to create a business plan and a budget and how to manage their finances and find markets. The second part of the program is more practical and takes place at our 100-acre farm. Trainees learn how to maintain the chicken coops, care for the chickens and manage the paddocks.
What is Poultry-Centered Regenerative Agriculture?
For over a decade, Sharing Our Roots and its partners – relying on the indigenous knowledge of agricultural people – have ground-truthed a poultry-centered regenerative agriculture system. Under this system, chickens have access to feed and shelter in coops, while also foraging in a paddock system that includes the perennial cover of bushes, shrubs and trees.
The chicken is native to the tropical jungles of Southeast Asia, so the perennial system allows the chicken to exhibit its natural behaviors. The farmer has a fast-growing, healthy product and additional products, such as hazelnuts (from the paddock) to sell. The system also provides ecological benefits, as it keeps the ground covered, thereby eliminating soil erosion and improving water quality while adding diversity to the landscape.
We developed our farm business curriculum to be taught in Spanish or English and to be accessible for students with low literacy levels. If you’re interested in participating at our next training, please check our calendar of events here. You can also sign up our newsletter and download our Poultry Manual.