Founded in 2004, the Growing Growers program provides education to new and experienced growers through a farm apprenticeship program and an annual workshop series.
Growing Growers is a collaborative effort of K-State Research and Extension, University of Missouri Extension, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension, Cultivate KC, The Kansas City Food Hub, KC Healthy Kids and the Kansas Rural Center.
Farmer services include:
APPRENTICESHIPS: Apprentices work on fruit & vegetable farms in the Kansas City region (including Lawrence, Kansas) to get first-hand, practical farming experience. They attend the workshops series during the production season and receive one-on-one mentorship with their host farmer. Apprenticeship positions can be paid or volunteer positions. First year apprentices receive a broad overview of farming practices. Those who participate a second year gain more advanced farm management skills.
WORKSHOPS: The Growing Growers program offers workshops throughout the year that are open to the public. The classes address skills required to run a local farm (see workshop page to view current series). The core workshops include introduction to soil management; production planning and plant propagation; post-harvest handling; small farm equipment and drip irrigation; insect, disease, and weed management; and farm business management. Workshops are geared toward beginner farmers, but all the classes offer great information and skill development for more experienced farmers as well! All classes are open to the public and class fees apply.
GROWERS LISTSERV: The Growing Growers program maintains a listserv for communication and information sharing. Participants include area growers, restaurateurs, grocery stores, extension agents, and other parties interested in the local farming industry. Local grocers and restaurants post emails soliciting suppliers; people organizing educational activities send out notices about workshops, farm tours and conferences. Anyone can sign up for the Listserv.
WHOLESALE - In partnership with the Beginning Farmer Wholesale Program, several advanced workshops on growing, handling, and marketing produce for wholesale will be offered. Visit http://www.growinggrowers.org/beginning-farmer-wholesale-project.html for more information.