David VanEeckhoutFARM PROGRAM DIRECTOR

David began learning the ropes on organic vegetable farms in 1998. After years of working for other farmers, he and his wife, Melinda, started Hog’s Back Farm in Western Wisconsin on land they purchased in 2002. Their focus was to grow high-quality certified organic produce for their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members and to raise a family. After fourteen successful years, they have discontinued their CSA program and now grow a few wholesale crops.

David brings his 20 years of farming experience to specialty crop farmers around the Twin Cities area to help them solve problems on their farms. He has built multiple greenhouses, taken and interpreted soil samples, sourced fertility, identified disease and nutrient issues, identified pest problems, consulted on equipment and land purchases, shared information on new varieties, provided farmer feedback as part of the Produce Safety Advisory Group at MDA, helped farmers with their accounting and financial management, and tirelessly advocated for farmers when there were no farmers at the table. He’s especially proud of the work we did in 2020 creating the Local Emergency Assistance Farmer Fund (LEAFF), which helped 47 BIPOC farms by guaranteeing sales to replace markets lost during COVID. He’s also excited to be working with the University of Minnesota on financial benchmarking for small, diverse specialty crop farms.

David has presented in workshops for MOSES, Land Stewardship Project, Center for Integrated Ag Studies at UW, and the Midwest CSA Conference put on by Wisconsin Farmer’s Union. He has also hosted several field days at his farm on topics ranging from irrigation to solar power. He has a BFA in Photography from the U of M and enjoys writing and taking photographs. He lives in River Falls, Wisconsin with his wife Melinda and their two children when he’s not visiting other farms or getting things done at theirs.

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