Rainbow Farmers Cooperative






 

The Rainbow Farmer’s Cooperative (RFC) was established by Growing Power in 1993 to support and train small-scale farmers throughout the United States.  Our cooperative is a membership driven marketing and information cooperative that establishes market opportunities for producers of conventional and organic produce. 

 

The Rainbow Farmer's Cooperative is a small-scale food producer and sellers cooperative comprised of rural and urban farmers. Our cooperative represents approximately 300 small family farmers from Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, and Illinois in the Midwest and Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, and Florida in the southeast.

 

Our farmers’ produce greens, herbs, fruits, vegetables, eggs, cheese, grass-fed meats, milk, juice, honey, jam.  The cooperative also sells compost, vermicomposting Videos, and “Milwaukee Black Gold” worm castings.  

 

Let’s Work Together – Providing for our Small Farmers

America’s small farms our facing a crisis.  The cost of doing business in the United States has forced thousands of family farms to fold.  Many of our nations small farms do not have the staff, transportation resources, or proximity to locale to attend farmers markets.  In order to alleviate this, the RFC was created to help farmers’ pool their resources in order to get their crops and products to market.  Our farmers receive: 

 

1) cash on delivery for their products, which they can immediately invest back into their farms; 

2) marketing of individual farms through Growing Power’s web site and word of mouth at multiple markets throughout Illinois and Wisconsin; 

3) transportation from farm to RFC’s storage warehouse in Milwaukee; 

4) access to restaurants and small-scale wholesalers; and 

5) cooler storage space to assure quality control of produce.

 

These products are purchased to sell at farmers' markets, directly to restaurants in Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago, as well as for Growing Power's Farm-to-City Market Basket program.

 

Trainings and Assistance

RFC’s commitment to our farmers takes a holistic approach.  Not only does the cooperative purchase the farmer’s goods, but we also help train our farmers in all levels of sustainable production.  RFC and Growing Power, Inc. provides the following to our small-scale farmers:

  • National Workshop Trainings at Growing Power, Inc.  These two-day intensive workshops provide hand-on agriculture training on sustainable compost production, vermicomposting, animal husbandry, project planning, apiary management, and hydroponic fish production;

  • expert guidance on developing marketing and promotional materials;

  • project planning seminars;

  • guidance on post-harvest handling and quality assessment;

  • transportation and cooler space to assure crop quality from farm to market;

  • assistance with grant writing; and

  • growing inputs, such as seeds, coir, worm castings, worms, and compost to help our farmers’ get their farms started on a sustainable footing.

Additionally, Growing Power has helped multiple farms receive grant funding.  Growing Home, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois is one such organization that benefited initially from technical assistance with grant writing to get their organization off the ground.  They now are a consistent vender at Chicago’s Green City Market.  Other vendors, such as Peter Klein of Seedling Fruit and Vicki Westerhoff of Genesis Growers, have also benefited through wholesale produce sales to RFC.  This component helps keep their income stream well-rounded, as well as economically sustainable.

 

The Rainbow Farmer’s Cooperative has given hundreds of small-scale farmers resources, not only to markets but also to creating a sustainable business model that will help keep family farms in the family.  When you support RFC, you are supporting local farmers, such as Dick Cates, a Wisconsin cattle farmer, Larry Adams, an urban farmer and beekeeper who trains ex-offenders in farming, Robert Pierce, a farmer who is trying to transform Madison’s food system, and the work of Growing Power. 

 Meet Our Farmers

Cates Family Farm

Dick and Kim Cates, Farmers

5992 Country Road T

Spring Green, Wisconsin 53588

Tel. 608.588.2836

E-mail: rlcates@mhtc.net

Products: Natural, grass-fed beef from Angus and Jersey steers grown “free-range” in the open air on excellent quality pasture. 

 

 

 

Country Bumpkin Farm Market  

Cindy and Charlie Rhinehart, Farmers

E9745 Highway P

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53965

Tel: 608.254.2311

Products: Sustainably raised berries, vegetables, and herbs.

 

 

 

 

Family Farm Defenders

A non-profit, farmers collective based in Madison

1019 Williamson Street, #B

Madison, Wisconsin 53703

Tel./Fax: 608.260.0900

E-mail: familyfarmdefenders@yahoo.com

Products: Certified organic, hormone-free, pasture-raised cheeses and dairy products.

 

Genesis Growers

Vicki Westerhoff, Farmer

8373 E. 3000 South Road

St. Anne, Illinois 60964

Tel: 815.953.1512

E-mail: genesisgrowers@comcast.net

Products: More than 60 varieties of sustainably raised vegetables. Specialty salad greens —lettuces, mesclun, arugula, dandelion, kale, sorrel.

 

Growing Power, Inc.

Will Allen, Farmer

Urban Farm, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Rural Farm, Merton, Wisconsin

Tel: 414.527.1546

E-mail: staff@growingpower.org

Products: Sustainable vegetables, specialty salad greens, free-range eggs, urban clover honey, ducks, tilapia, and perch.  Compost, vermicompost, and education videos.   

 

Growing Power, Inc.

Erika Allen, Farmer

Urban Farms at Grant Park and Jackson Park, Chicago, Illinois

Tel: 773.486.6005

E-mail: chicago@growingpower.org

Products: Sustainable vegetables, specialty salad greens, urban honey, and flowers. 

 

Half the 40-Acres Organic Farm

Farmer: Robert Pierce

524 Bayview l Madison, Wisconsin 53715

Tel: 608.358.5834

E-mail: repierce@ameritech.net

Products: A minority-owned farming enterprise specializing in organic and ethnic vegetables. 

 

Hidden Valley Mushroom Farm

Eddie Tylka, Farmer

S270 Birchwood Road

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53965

Tel: 608.253.6804

Products: Mushroom and assorted vegetables.

 

Kirkwood Farms

Bob Korkwood, Farmer

 

Maple Hill Orchard

Tom Stine, Farmer

S 6234 Highway Trunk PF

North Freedom, Wisconsin 53951
Tel: 608.522.4466

Products: Fruits, apple cider, caramel apples, maple syrup, jams, jellies, and honey.

 

M & M Strawberry Farm

Willie and Cindy Kimmons

N2930 State Highway 107

Merrill, Wisconsin 54452 

Tel: 715.536.8229

Email: wckimmons@charter.net  

Products: Fruits and berries.

Sweet Potatoes

Mound Bayou Sweet Potato Growers Association

Wardell Sanders, Founder

202 North Edwards Avenue

Mound Bayou, Mississippi 38762

Tel: 662-741-2992

Products: Delicious sweet potatoes.

Nature's Acres

Jane and David Stevens, Farmers

E. 8984 Weinke Road

North Freedom, Wisconsin 53951

Tel: 608.522.4492

Email: natures@chorus.net

Products: Handmade soaps, lip balm, salves, and teas.  

Neu Erth Worm Farm

Donna Neuwirth and Jay Salinas, Farmers

E7904 Briar Bluff Road

Reedsburg, Wisconsin 53959

Tel: 608.524.8672

Email: wormfarm@jvlnet.com

Products: Assorted vegetables, grass-fed lamb.

Pinn-Oak Ridge Farm

Steven and Darlene Pinnow, Farmers
N5784 Johnson Road

Delavan, Wisconsin 53115
Phone: 262.728.9629
Email: spinnow@wisconsinlamb.com

Products: Grass-fed lamb

Pleasant Valley Farm

11842 Shady Dell Road

Mount Hope, WI 53816

Phone: 608.988.4277

 

Seedling Fruit

Peter Klein, Farmer

6717 111th Avenue

South Haven, Michigan 49090

Email: info@seedlingfruit.com

Products: Fruit, apple cider, jams, dried fruit, 

Shepherd's Sanctuary Farm

Lin and Vern Greenquist, Farmers

W5257 Chantenay Terrace

Elkhorn, Wisconsin 53121

Sunny Field Farm

Will's Roadside Farm

Will Allen, Farmer

 

Milwaukee Headquarters:  5500 W. Silver Spring Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53218

Tel. 414.527.1546 / Fax 414.527.1908

Chicago Projects Office:  3333 S. Iron Street, Chicago, IL 60608

Tel. 773.376.8882