Graduate Testimonials

“This is an extraordinary program. It’s as good or better than much more expensive intensive training, such as the Stanford Executive Program. I built and managed my first hoophouse and made my first sales to a local restaurant during the 2019 OFTP. This would not have been possible but for your program, and I am grateful that you made this possible for me.” Bill Coughlin, 2019, Owner of Twin Manor Farm in Memphis, MI
“I love this program! As someone new to farming, the combination of on-site learning, zoom based learning and farm visits offered a thorough introduction to the field of organic farming, helped me gain the confidence to start my own farm and helped me solidify my vision for farming.” 2021 OFTP Graduate
“Class each week was a much needed dose of optimism and the knowledge and connections to make my vision a reality” 2022 OFTP Graduate
"Without the 2019 cohort, Rich and I would definitely not be starting production on our farm in 2020. I needed the foundation in so many essentials of small-scale market farming and I received those through OFTP. The combination of hands-on learning at the SOF farm and opportunities to visit and interact with dozens of Michigan farmers is a priceless opportunity." Cindy Kern, Co-owner of Cardinal Farms in South Lyon, MI
“Katie's teaching style is inclusive, exciting, dynamic and engaging and she is extremely positive and encouraging while not shying away from some of the more difficult realities of the farming profession. The OFTP's in person learning at the Student Organic Farm has been incredibly valuable. I enjoy being in a group and learning from my classmates. The farm field trips have been an amazing opportunity to see a variety of scales, business models, values/practices, and enterprises across the state of Michigan. Each of the farmers we visited was very open and inviting for us to ask questions or return at any time. It felt as though as beginning farmers, we are joining a large interconnected community.” 2022 OFTP Graduate
“The Organic Farmer Training Program has not only helped me hone my farming practices, it has advanced my tools and skills as an outdoor educator for youth-based garden learning opportunities. Our children’s garden grows beautiful produce and has created a positive environment for families to reconnect with food, health and the earth. For 2020, I have received funding to start my own farm, Family Roots, which will supply kid-friendly produce to preschools and daycare centers to improve nutrition during early childhood when brain development is at its peak.” Heidi Bombrisk, Family Roots Farm


"The time I spent at the OFCP as a student and assistant instructor has been integral to my confidence and success as a farmer. My training at the SOF has also been cited by a number of employers as a major reason I was hired to work on their farms, manage their programs, or develop new ways to integrate farms and schools. The network of farmers, friends and mentors I gained through participation in the program and involvement in the greater Michigan farming community is an additional resource I often call upon and dedicate a lot of my success to, and my two years at the SOF were some of the most fun, supported, community based and magical years of my life. Seeing the work of fellow graduates is an inspiration and gives me hope for the future of food." Nora Lindsey, Manager, The Learning Garden at Portland Community College
"The OFTP was the perfect stepping stone for me on my agricultural path. It linked together hands on learning with interesting and informative lecture that made the class worth coming to every week. The amount of information you are given, both through lectures and books/ handouts is worth the price of the program. Once you add in the hands on experience, and the network you make, it becomes an incredible deal." 2017 OFTP participant
"OFTP has given me an array of new skills and knowledge to help me be successful in whatever farm venture I may take on or work for. The assignments were concrete skills and tools that will allow me to make my dream into a reality, and I feel much more confident about my ability to make a living farming." 2017 OFTP participant